School desegregation ends

Desegregation at Little Rock: Little Rock Central High School. February 14. 1969

On October 29, 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that school districts must end segregation “now and hereafter.â€�  With this unambiguous language, the Court, which now had Thurgood Marshall as a member, left no room for doubt or delay.Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education is an important (and, today, curiously underrated) Supreme Court decision from 1969. It mandated immediate action in the segregation of public school facilities.

The Court was responding to a legal challenge from diehard anti-integrationists, who had learned—from civil rights proponents, no doubt—that the legal system could be used to support social objectives. The anti-integrationists, however, received a major defeat when the Court ruled unanimously that Mississippi (and, by extension, the nation) was obliged to integrate public schools “at once.â€� (more…)

Convention of the Colored National labor Union

National Colored Convention in 1869v

The Colored National Labor Union arrived shortly after the development of the National Labor Union, which happened to be the first major organization founded by Andrew Cameron in 1866. The National Labor Union was dedicated with helping unions such as construction and other skilled groups and even sometimes towards farmers.

At this point in time African Americans were struggling to be noticed and taken seriously in the work field and in society they felt that if they started their own national union it would help their position in society because they were not given any help from the National Labor Union. The only thing that the National Union offered to African Americans was to encourage them to organize and separate that could be affiliated with the National Labor Union, but this plan was clearly not designed to help with racial unity because it left black workers only fighting for an entry into the union.


Harold Washington

Harold Washington

Harold Washington

Harold Washington

b. April 15, 1922, Chicago, Ill., U.S.–d. Nov. 25, 1987, Chicago), American politician who gained national prominence as the first African-American mayor of Chicago (1983-87).

Washington graduated from Roosevelt University (B.A., 1949), earned a law degree from Northwestern University (1952), and established a private law practice in Chicago. He succeeded his father, a part-time Methodist minister, as Democratic precinct captain before working as a city attorney (1954-58) and a state labour arbitrator (1960-64). He then served in the Illinois House of Representatives (1965-76), the Illinois State Senate (1976-80), and the U.S. House of Representatives (1980-83).  (more…)

Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer was born October 6, 1917 in the Mississippi Delta. Inspired by the fighting spirit of her mother, Fannie Lou Hamer became widely known as the “Spirit” of the Civil Rights movement. In the early 1960’s a Black man or woman could lose their life trying to register to vote in some towns in Mississippi. But even at the risk of her life, Fannie Lou Hamer registered to vote.  (more…)

John Lewis

John Robert Lewis, (born February 21, 1940, Troy, Alabama, U.S. — died July 17, 2020, Atlanta, Georgia), American civil rights leader and politician best known for his chairmanship of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and for leading the march that was halted by police violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, a landmark event in the history of the civil rights movement that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” 1

Lewis left the SNCC in 1966 and continued his work to enfranchise minorities. In 1970, he became director of the Voter Education Project. During his tenure, the VEP helped to register millions of minority voters.

Lewis won a seat on the Atlanta City Council in 1981, then the House of Representatives in 1986. As a representative of Georgia’s 5th District until his death, he was one of the most respected members of Congress. He championed healthcare reform, education improvements and he oversaw multiple renewals of the Voting Rights Act. When the Supreme Court struck down part of the law in 2013 Lewis decried the decision as a “dagger into the heart” of voting rights.

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1Encyclopedia Brittanica

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm attended Brooklyn College on a scholarship and then earned a master’s degree in education from Columbia University. After becoming an expert on early childhood education, she worked as a consultant to New York City’s Bureau of Child Welfare, from 1959 to 1964.

In 1968 Chisholm became the first black woman to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1972 Chisholm declared her candidacy for the office of president of the United States. She was the first black and the first woman to make this bidan effort described in her book The Good Fight. She later published an autobiography, Unbought and Unbossed.

Chisholm retired from Congress in 1983 and taught at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She spoke out against the Vietnam War until it ended, and she has continued to speak out for the interests of the urban poor.