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Global African History Timelines: After 1801

Global African American History Timelines:

This timeline covers all the events not listed on the African American History or African American History in the West timelines.

 

Yearsort iconEventsSubjectCountryEra
1801Haitian forces capture the Spanish-ruled section of Hispaniola called Santo Domingo. The area is returned to Spanish control in 1809. The Haitians will regain control in 1822 and remain in Santo Domingo until 1844. 01-011801-1900
1804On January 1, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the successor to Toussaint L'Ouverture, declares Saint Dominque independent and renames it Haiti. It becomes the second independent nation in the western hemisphere (after the United States). 01-011801-1900
1804Usman Dan Fodio initiates a holy war (jihad) that established an Islamic theocratic state, the Sokoto Caliphate, in present day Northern Nigeria. 01-021801-1900
1807Great Britain abolishes the importation of enslaved Africans into its colonial possessions. 01-011801-1900
1807George Bridgetower, a former child prodigy who at 11 performs his first concert before a Paris audience, is elected to the British Royal Society of Musicians. 01-021801-1900
1811Spain abolishes slavery at home and in all colonies except Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo. 01-011801-1900
1813Argentina abolishes slavery. 01-011801-1900
1814Mauritania becomes a French colony. 01-011801-1900
1814Great Britain gains control of the Seychelles from France. 01-021801-1900
1816Shaka Zulu becomes King of the Zulu nation and begins to create an empire in the southern African interior. 01-011801-1900
1819The Canadian government refuses to cooperate with the United States government in the apprehension of fugitive slaves living in Canada. 01-011801-1900
1820Rev. Daniel Coker of Baltimore leads eighty six African Americans who become the first black settlers to Liberia. 01-031801-1900
1820The American Colonization Society's first shop, Mayflower of Liberia, arrives in Liberia.18201801-1900
1820Large numbers of British settlers begin arriving in the Cape Colony. 01-011801-1900
1820New cash crops are introduced into central and southern Africa including cotton in Angola and cloves in Zanzibar. Shortly afterwards palm oil and groundnuts (peanuts) become important cash crops in West Africa. 01-021801-1900
1821Ecuador adopts a gradual emancipation program. 01-011801-1900
1821Columbia adopts a gradual emancipation program. 01-011801-1900
1821Venezeula adopts a gradual emancipation program. 01-011801-1900
1822Liberia founded by the American Colonization Society as a colony for emancipated slaves. 01-011801-1900
1823Chile abolishes slavery. 01-011801-1900
1824Mexico outlaws slavery. This act creates the incentive for Anglo Texans to fight for independence. 01-011801-1900
1824Ira Aldridge, alumnus of the African Grove Theater, begins prominent acting career in London. 18241801-1900
1824The Federal Republic of Central America abolishes slavery. 01-011801-1900
1824Moshoeshoe brings together rival clans to establish the Kingdom of Sotho in Southern Africa. 01-021801-1900
1827Fourah Bay College is established in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The college is the first western-oriented institution of higher education on the African continent. 01-011801-1900
1828Shaka Zulu, the Zulu leader, is assassinated by his half brother, Dingane who then proclaims himself ruler of the Zulu Empire. 01-011801-1900
1829Mexican independence leader Vincente Guerrero of African and Indian ancestry becomes the second President of Mexico. Shortly afterwards he finally abolishes slavery in Mexico. 01-011801-1900
1831Bolivia abolishes slavery. 01-011801-1900
1831Guyana becomes a British colony. 01-021801-1900
1833The British Parliament abolishes slavery in the entire British Empire. 01-021801-1900
1834The British abolition of slavery in the Cape Colony prompts many boers to move further north into the interior of Southern Africa beyond the reach of British authority. Their migration eventually brings them into conflict with the Zulu nation and other indigenous African people. 01-011801-1900
1836John B. Russwurm is appointed Governor of the Cape Palmas district of Liberia by the American Colonization Society. 01-011801-1900
1837Muhammad Bello, the Sultan of Sokoto, and son of Usman dan Fodio, dies. With a population of ten million, Sokoto at the time is the largest state in West Africa. 01-011801-1900
1837The first groundnuts (peanuts) are exported to the United States and Europe from Sierra Leone. 01-021801-1900
1838Boers clash for the first time directly with the Zulu at the Battle of Blood River in Natal. 01-011801-1900
1840Sayyid Said, the Sultan of Oman, moves his capital to Zanzibar which will soon evolve into the largest slave-trading state in East Africa. 01-011801-1900
1842Uruguay abolishes slavery. 01-011801-1900
1844The British Governor of the Gold Coast forms an alliance with the Fante states along the coast against the Ashanti Empire. 01-011801-1900
1844New Orleans-born African American playwright Victor Sejour's first play, Diegarias, is performed at the Theatre Francais in Paris. 18441801-1900
1845By this date the French have constructed the forts of Assinie, Bassam, and Dabou on the Slave Coast in what is now Cote d'Ivoire. 01-011801-1900
1846Tunisia abolishes slavery. 01-011801-1900
1847Sweden abolishes slavery. 01-011801-1900
1847On July 26, Liberia becomes an independent nation. It's first president is Joseph Jenkins Roberts. 01-021801-1900
1848Denmark abolishes slavery. 01-011801-1900
1848Slavery is abolished in all French Colonies 01-021801-1900
1848France founds Gabon for the settlement of emancipated slaves. 01-031801-1900
1848The French Assembly grants full voting rights to the inhabitants of Dakar and Rufisque, the two largest cities in the colony of Senegal. These inhabitants will govern themselves and send representatives to the French Assembly in Paris. This is the first time African colonial subjects will have a voice in the government of France. In 1872 similar rights will be granted to St. Louis and Goree Island. 01-041801-1900
1850Denmark sells its colony on the Gold Coast to the British and withdraws from Africa. 01-011801-1900
1850Swahili-Arab traders extend trading routes for enslaved people and ivory across Lake Tanganyika into what is now the eastern Congo. 01-021801-1900
1851The Liberian legislature authorizes the establishment of Liberia College which will eventually become the University of Liberia. 01-011801-1900
1851Columbia abolishes slavery. 01-021801-1900
1852The Hawaiian Kingdom abolishes slavery. 01-011801-1900
1852Swahili traders from east Africa cross the continent and reach the Atlantic coastal state of Benguela. 01-031801-1900
1853The British allow the Gold Coast colony to have a legislative council. This is the first instance of the British providing limited self-government for their sub-Saharan colonial subjects. 01-011801-1900
1853Mary Ann Shadd becomes the first woman of African ancestry to publish a newspaper anywhere in the world when she takes control of the Provincial Freeman in Chatham, Ontario. 01-021801-1900
1854Venezuela abolishes slavery.18541901-2000
1854Peru abolishs slavery. 01-011801-1900
1854Al-Hajj Umar, a Muslim religious leader from Futa Toro (in present-day Senegal), initiates a jihad which captures much of the interior of west Africa including the Kingdom of Kaarta. 01-021801-1900
1854Quinine is used in in the Gold Coast for the first time in Africa to treat malaria. 01-031801-1900
1855Ras Kassa unifies the warring states of Ethiopia and crowns himself Emperor Tewodros II. 01-011801-1900
1855Msiri, a Nyamwezi ivory and slave trader establishes a permanent interior state (called Nyamwezi) with a capital at Bunyeka. 01-021801-1900
1855An estimated 4,000 fugitive slaves from Texas and the U.S. Southwest are living in and around the Mexican border town of Matamoras. 01-031801-1900
1858Spain gains control over Equatorial Guinea. 01-011801-1900
1861The British establish a protectorate at the port of Lagos, the first step in creating the colony of Nigeria. 01-011801-1900
1861Tukulor leader Al-Hajj Umar conquers the Kingdom of Segu. 01-021801-1900
1861France gains control over Djibouti. 01-031801-1900
1863Slavery is abolished in all Dutch colonies. 01-011801-1900
1863Al-Hajj Umar clashes with the French in the Senegal Valley and captures Timbuktu. The following year Umar is killed putting down a rebellion in Masina. 01-021801-1900
1863The French establish a protectorate over Porto Novo in Dahomey. 01-031801-1900
1864Former slave Samuel Crowther becomes the first African Anglican bishop.  He is appointed to serve in what is now Nigeria. 01-011801-1900
1865Samori Toure, the leader of the Mandinka, begins an empire in the upper Niger River basin. 01-011801-1900
1865Tippu Tip, a Swahili trader, gains control over the ivory and slave trade in the east African interior and becomes a rival to Msiri. 01-021801-1900
1865The Dominican Republic is declared independent from Spain. 01-041801-1900
1866In November Mifflin W. Gibbs is elected to the Victoria, British Columbia City Council. He becomes the second black Canadian resident elected to office. 01-011801-1900
1867Diamonds are found at Kimberley in the Orange Free State in what is now South Africa. 01-011801-1900
1868Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II is defeated by the British at the Battle of Aroge and subsequently commits suicide. 01-011801-1900
1868Moshoeshoe, the King of Sotho in southern Africa requests British annexation of his kingdom to avoid being overrun by the Boers. 01-021801-1900
1868Antonio Maceo Grajales joins the Cuban independence movement eventually rising to the level of General in the insurgent army at the time of his death in 1896. 01-031801-1900
1869Slavery is abolished in Portugal's African colonies. 01-011801-1900
1869Gold is discovered at Tati in South Africa and in neighboring Botswana, setting off an international gold rush into the region. 01-021801-1900
1869The Suez Canal is opened with Great Britain and France in control of the waterway. 01-031801-1900
1873Slavery is abolished in Puerto Rico 01-011801-1900
1873The British persuade the Sultan of Zanzibar to end the slave trade. 01-021801-1900
1873-74The Anglo-Ashanti War. After initial victories by the Ashanti, the British eventually prevail and force the Ashanti Emperor to surrender. 01-011801-1900
1879In the first Anglo-Zulu War the British suffer a crushing defeat at Isandlwana. 01-011801-1900
1880Samori Toure extends his conquests to include the west African gold fields and the upper Niger valley. 01-011801-1900
1880Afro-French explorer Pierre de Brazza-Savorgnan negotiates a treaty with the Kingdom of the Kongo which relinquishes its claim to the north bank of the Congo River. He founds Brazzaville, the first settlement in the new colony. 01-021801-1900
1881The Mahdist Revolution began on June 29 when a Sudanese Islamic cleric, Muhammad Ahmad, proclaimed himself the Mahdi. 01-011801-1900
1882Great Britain gains control over Egypt from the Ottoman Empire. 01-011801-1900
1884Nehemiah Tile founds the Tembu National Church, the first of a series of African-controlled churches in South Africa, in the Transkei region of South Africa. 01-011801-1900
1884Germany acquires Namibia, Togo, and Cameroon as its first African colonies. 01-021801-1900
1884European nations at the Berlin Conference reach agreement on the partition of Africa. 01-031801-1900
1885Germany establishes a protectorate over the Tanganyika coast. 01-011801-1900
1885King Leopold of Belgium acquires the Congo, a vast area of nearly 905,000 square miles, as his personal possession. He calls the area the Congo Free State. 01-021801-1900
1885The French declare a protectorate over Madagascar. 01-031801-1900
1885Pan-Africanist intellectual Edward Wilmot Blyden campaigns unsuccessfully for President of Liberia. After his defeat he goes into self-imposed exile in neighboring Sierra Leone. 01-041801-1900
1885The Royal Niger Company, backed by the British Army, takes control of the Lower Niger and Benue River valleys. With that expansion they effectively rule half of what will eventually be the colony of Nigeria. 01-051801-1900
1886Slavery is abolished in Cuba. 01-011801-1900
1886City of Johannesburg is founded in South Africa. 01-021801-1900
1886The Comoros Islands become a French protectorate. 01-031801-1900
1887The British declare a protectorate over what is now Southern Nigeria. 01-011801-1900
1888Slavery is abolished in Brazil. 04-131801-1900
1888The British help the Germans crush Muslim resistance on the East African coast. 01-021801-1900
1889Italy gains control over Eritrea. 01-011801-1900
1889Cecil Rhodes' British South African Company begins the colonize the African interior. White settlers name the colony Rhodesia. 01-021801-1900
1889Menelik II becomes the Emperor of Ethiopia and initiates a campaign of expansion which will double the size of the empire. 01-031801-1900
1893Henry Ossawa Tanner paints The Banjo Lesson while living in France.  The painting is eventually hailed as one of the major works of art of the late 19th Century. 01-011801-1900
1893French forces capture Timbuktu and destroy the Tukulor Empire. 01-011801-1900
1893The French declare the Ivory Coast to be their colony. 01-021801-1900
1894Buganda is occupied by the British who begin to form the colony of Uganda. 01-011801-1900
1894The French conquer Dahomey. 01-021801-1900
1895Tananarive, the capital of Madagascar, surrenders to the French. 01-011801-1900
1896The Ethiopians, under Emperor Menelik II, defeat the Italians at the Battle of Adwa and becomes the only African nation to successfully resist European conquest during this period. 01-011801-1900
1896Sultan Khaled surrenders Zanzibar to the British. 01-021801-1900
1896British forces invade and occupy the Ashanti Empire. 01-031801-1900
1897Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, a prominent 19th century Brazilian writer is a founder and the first President of the Brazilian Academy of Literature. He holds the post until his death in 1908. 01-011801-1900
1897Zanzibar abolishes slavery. 01-021801-1900
1897The British Army creates the West African Frontier Force, regiments of African soldiers led by British officers. 01-031801-1900
1898Afro-English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is commissioned at 23 to write his Ballade in A Minor for Britain 01-011801-1900
1898The French gain control over Guinea. 01-021801-1900
1899The British and French establish joint rule over Sudan. 01-011801-1900
1899Germany conquers Rwanda. 01-021801-1900
1900The United States Pavilion at the Paris Exposition (April 14-Nov. 10) houses an exhibition on black Americans called the Exposition des Negres d'Amerique. 04-141801-1900
1900The first Pan African Conference, organized by Henry Sylvester Williams, a Trinidad attorney, meets in London in July. 01-011801-1900
1900The British establish the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria. 01-021801-1900
1900Beginning of large scale copper mining in the Katanga region of the Congo Free State. 01-031801-1900
1900The first white settlers arrive in Kenya. 01-041801-1900
1901African American cyclist Marshall "Major" Taylor wins European Cycling championship in Paris, France. 19011901-2000
1901The British annex the Ashanti Empire into their Gold Coast colony. 01-011901-2000
1903Meta Vaux Warrick, an African American sculptor, exhibits her work at the Paris Salon, Paris France. 04-291901-2000
1903Thousands of black workers from the Caribbean and Latin America arrive in the Canal Zone to help build the Panama Canal.19031901-2000
1903Troops of the West African Frontier Force, led by British officers, take the city of Sokoto. Shortly afterwards the Sokoto Caliphate is annexed to Nigeria. 01-011901-2000
1904France creates a federation of its West African colonies stretching from Chad and the Cameroons west to Senegal. 01-011901-2000
1904The Herero rise in rebellion against German forces in South West Africa (Namibia). The rebellion is crushed the following year. 01-021901-2000
1904Black South Africans are required for the first time to settle in Soweto, a township on the edge of Johannesburg. Soweto is the first and will eventually become the largest of the all-black townships near white South African cities under the new system of government-mandated residential segregation. 01-031901-2000
1905The Maji-Maji Uprising begins in German East Africa. 01-011901-2000
1906Britain, France, and Italy agree to recognize the independence of Ethiopia. 01-011901-2000
1906Lagos is incorporated into the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. 01-021901-2000
1907German forces capture Abdallah Mapanda, the leader of the Maji-Maji Uprising in German East Africa (Tanganyika). 01-011901-2000
1907Nairobi is chosen as the capital of British East Africa. 01-021901-2000
1907German forces defeat the Nama people, ending resistance to the conquest of South West Africa 01-031901-2000
1908John Baxter "Doc" Taylor of the University of Pennsylvania becomes the first African American to win an Olympic Gold Medal. His event is the 4/400-meter medley at the London Games. 07-011901-2000
1908On December 26, Jack Johnson defeats Canadian Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia to become the first African American heavyweight boxing champion of the world. 12-261901-2000
1908Leopold II transfers control of the Congo Free State to Belgium. 01-011901-2000
1910The Union of South Africa is formed with the Afrikaners as the majority of the white population. The Union becomes a dominion of the British Empire. 01-011901-2000
1912The African National Congress (ANC) was formed in Bloemfontein, South Africa on January 18, 1912, when a group of Africans, Coloreds, and Indians convened a meeting to discuss their grievances against the colonial government. 01-011901-2000
1912The French establish a protectorate in Morocco. 01-021901-2000
1913Mohandas Gandhi is arrested in South Africa for leading a protest against the treatment of Indians there. 01-011901-2000
1914The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) is founded in Kingston, Jamaica by Marcus and Amy Jacques Garvey. 01-101901-2000
1914U.S. born pilot Eugene Jacques Bullard volunteers to serve with the French Air Force in World War I. He is the first black pilot to see combat in that conflict. 08-021901-2000
1914Blaise Diagne wins a seat in the French National Assembly in Paris, representing Dakar, Senegal. He also recruits Senegalese troops for the French Army during World War I. In 1934 he becomes the Deputy Minister of the Colonies in the French government. 01-021901-2000
1914The British Protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria are combined to form the Colony of Nigeria, the most populous colony in Africa. 01-031901-2000
1915On July 28, the United States begins a 19 year occupation of Haiti, the longest in U.S. history. 07-281901-2000
1915Invoking the name of U.S. abolitionist John Brown, John Chilembwe leads 200 followers in an unsuccessful revolt against British colonial rule in Nyasaland (now Malawi). Chilembwe and his followers kill three British subjects before he flees to Mozambique where he is killed ten days later by Portuguese-led African soldiers. 01-011901-2000
1916In March the Tenth Cavalry is one of two cavalry units under the command of General John J. Pershing given the assignment to capture Mexican Revolutionary leader Francisco Pancho Villa. The Seventh Cavalry is the other. They are unsuccessful. 03-011901-2000
1918The Ecole de Medecine de Dakar is founded in Dakar, Senegal. It eventually becomes Cheik Anta Diop University. 01-011901-2000
1919James Reese Europe's Army jazz band popularizes jazz in France and Western Europe 19191901-2000
1919The second Pan African Conference, led by W.E. B. DuBois, meets in Paris in February partly to help influence the post war Versailles Peace Conference. 01-011901-2000
1920Former German colonies of Togo, Cameroons, South West Africa, and Tanganyika in Africa are divided by the victorious French and British after World War I. 01-011901-2000
1921Bessie Coleman, the first black female pilot, also becomes the first woman to receive an international pilots license when she graduates from the Federation Aeronautique International in France. 08-011901-2000
1921The third Pan African Conference meets in London and Brussels. 01-011901-2000
1922Senegelese boxer Louis Phal, also known as Battling Siki, defeats Georges Carpentier in Paris to win the world light heavyweight boxing title. Phal becomes the first African to win an international professional sports title.19221901-2000
1922Makerere University is founded as a vocational institute on the edge of Kampala, Uganda. It will become the largest university in East Africa. 01-011901-2000
1922Egypt gains its independence from Great Britain on February 22. King Fuad I is the first head of state.19221901-2000
1923The fourth Pan African Congress meets in London and Lisbon. 01-011901-2000
1923Abyssinia (Ethiopia) becomes the first African nation to join the League of Nations. 01-021901-2000
1924Eugene ONeill's play The Emperor Jones opens in London with Paul Robeson in the title role. 01-011901-2000
1924Achimota School is founded near Accra, The Gold Coast. Part of the institution eventually evolves into the University of Ghana. 01-011901-2000
1924Iraq abolishes slavery. 01-021901-2000
1924O Clarim da Alvorada (Clarion of Dawn) becomes of the first Afro-Brazilian newspapers.  Founded in Sao Paulo, it will be a leading force in the growing black culture movement in Brazil.  01-031901-2000
1924The Ligue Universelle pour la Defense de la Race Noire (LUDRN), a Pan African Association, is created on April 30 in Paris.  The Ligue works to improve conditions for colonized Africans. 01-041901-2000
1925American-born Josephine Baker emerges as a popular entertainer in Paris after she appears in the musical La Revue Negre. 19251901-2000
1926League of Nations Slavery Convention bounds all signatories to end the slave trade and slavery. 01-011901-2000
1927Fifth Pan African Congress meets in New York City. 01-011901-2000
1928Iran abolishes slavery. 01-011901-2000
1929The Aba Women's Riots in Aba, Nigeria, are the first direct revolt by Nigerians against British colonial rule. 01-011901-2000
1930Ras Tafari is crowned Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. 01-011901-2000
1931The Frente Negra Brasileira (Brazilian Black Front) is formed in the city of Sao Paulo. 01-011901-2000
1934Abidjan is declared the capital of the French colony of Ivory Coast. 01-011901-2000
1934American-born Robert Robinson becaue the first black city councilman in Moscow, Russia (The Soviet Union).19341901-2000
1935On October 3, Italy invades Ethiopia.  10-031901-2000
1936Addis Ababa is conquered by Italian forces. Mussolini declares the conquest the foundation of a new Roman Empire. 01-011901-2000
1936Felix Eboue become Colonial Governor of Guadeloupe, French West Indies, the first person of African ancestry to hold the post in the French Colonial Empire. Eventually he will hold the same post in Chad and in 1940 becomes Governor General of French Equatorial Africa. 01-021901-2000
1936

On June 30, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie appeals unsuccessfully to the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, to assist his country in expelling the Italian invaders.

19361901-2000
1937Approximately 80 African Americans are among the 3,000 U.S. volunteers who fight in the Spanish Civil War. One of them, Texas-born Oliver Law, commands the Lincoln Battalion. Law is killed in battle on July 9. 07-091901-2000
1941Ethiopia with the assistance of British forces defeats the Italians and reestablishes its independence. 01-011901-2000
1942Slavery is abolished in the Ethiopian Empire. 01-011901-2000
1942-43Nearly 100,000 African American noncombat soldiers are sent to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Samoa and other areas of the Pacific to build roads, ports and airfields in the war against Imperial Japan. Black black soldiers with the 95th Engineer Regiment, for example, help construct the Alaska-Canadian (ALCAN) Highway in 1942. 1942-431901-2000
1943African troops fight in both Allied and Axis armies in North, West, and East Africa.19431901-2000
1943President Franklin Roosevelt travels to Liberia to Meet with Liberian President Edwin J. Barclay to lobby for its rubber and other natural resources for the Allied war effort. This marks the first trip by a U.S. President while in office to a sub-Saharan African nation.19431901-2000
1944Eilud Mathu becomes the first black member of the legislative council of Kenya.19441901-2000
1944The 81st and 82nd West African Divisions and the 11th East African Division (British Army) fight the Japanese in Burma.19441901-2000
1944Abdias do Nascimento founds the Teatro Nacional do Negro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 01-011901-2000
1944Eric Eustace Williams publishes the influential Capitalism and Slavery which argues that the British abolition of slavery grew from the realization that wage labor had supplanted slave labor in the global capitalist marketplace. 01-011901-2000
1944Soon after the Allied invasion at Normandy on D-Day, the U.S. Army organizes the Red Ball Express to bring need supplies from the coast to troops advancing across France toward Germay. Nearly 75% of the supply truck drivers are African American.19441901-2000
1945The sixth Pan African Congress meets in Manchester, England. 01-011901-2000
1945Madame E. T. Eboue is the first person of African ancestry to win a seat in the French Assembly.19451901-2000
1946The Rassemblement Democratique Africain (RDA) was the first French-speaking Pan African organization.  Founded in 1946 in Bamako, Mali to provide a voice for colonized Africans in the French National Assembly in Paris, its various colonial sections by 1960 become the first political parties in Mali, Upper Volta, Chad and other newly independent French-speaking nations. 01-011901-2000
1947Alioine Diop establishes Presence Africaine, a journal devoted to African culture, in Dakar, Senegal. 19471901-2000
1947The African National Congress (ANC) forms an alliance with the Natal Indian Congress and the Transvaal Indian Congress to oppose British and Afrikaner rule in South Africa. 19471901-2000
1948United Nations Article 4 bans slavery globally. 01-011901-2000
1948The Nationalist Party wins parliamentary elections in South Africa. Within a year it will make Apartheid the official policy of the government. 01-021901-2000
1948The University of Ibadan is established in the city of Ibadan, the second largest city in the colony of Nigeria. The university will be the first institution of higher education in Nigeria. 01-031901-2000
1948The University of the West Indies is established as the University College of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. 01-041901-2000
1950On September 22, Ralph Bunche becomes the first African American recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation of a settlement between Arabs and Israelis in the 1947-48 Mideast Crisis. 09-221901-2000
1951On December 24, Libya gains its independence from Italy. Its first head of state is King Idris. 01-021901-2000
1951The Algerian National Liberation Front begins a guerrilla campaign against the French. The campaign ends with Algerian independence in 1962. 01-031901-2000
1952The Mau Mau Uprising begins in Kenya. The uprising ends in 1956 after more than 13,000 people are killed. 01-011901-2000
1952Qatar abolishes slavery. 01-021901-2000
1952Ethiopia gains control over Eritrea. 01-031901-2000
1955Civil War begins in Sudan pitting the Muslim North against the Christian South. 01-011901-2000
1956Eric Eustace Williams founds the People's National Movement in Trinidad. 19561901-2000
1956On January 1, Sudan gains independence from Great Britain. Ismail al-Azhari is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1956On March 20, Tunisia gains independence from France. The first head of state is Muhammad VIII al-Amin. 01-021901-2000
1956On April 7, Morocco gains its independence from France. The first head of state is Muhammad V.01-031901-2000
1957On July 6, Althea Gibson becomes the first African American to win the Womens Singles Division of the British Tennis Championship at Wimbledon. 07-061901-2000
1957On March 6, Ghana becomes the first sub-Saharan nation to gain independence when it is declared free by Great Britain. The first head of state is Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah. 01-011901-2000
1957The Bahutu Manifesto drawn up by Rwandan Hutu intellectuals, called for Hutu ethnic and political solidarity and the political disfranchisement of the Tutsi people. 01-021901-2000
1958Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe publishes Things Fall Apart, his first critically acclaimed novel. 19581901-2000
1958Edson Arantes do Nascimento, 17 year-old Brazilian soccer star leads the Brazilian National Soccer team to its first World Cup championship in international competition in Stockholm, Sweden.19581901-2000
1958Canadian native Willie O'Ree is the first black hockey player in the National Hockey League. He made his NHL debut on January 18, 1958 as a player for the Boston Bruins. Their opponent was the Montreal Canadiens. 01-011901-2000
1958On October 2, Guinea gains its independence from France. Sekou Toure is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1959The National Symphony Orchestra is founded in Accra, Ghana. It is the first in sub-Saharan Africa. 19591901-2000
1959South Africa writer Es'kia Mphahlele publishes his critically acclaimed autobiography Down Second Avenue. 19591901-2000
1960Albert John Lutuli, President of the African National Congress, wins the Nobel Peace Prize. 19601901-2000
1960Track star Wilma Rudolph of Tennessee State University is the first woman to win three gold medals at the Olympic Games which are held that year in Rome. 07-011901-2000
1960Burkina Faso becomes independent from France. Its first head of state is Maurice Yameogo.19601901-2000
1960Cote d'Ivoire is declared independent from France. Felix Houphouet-Boigny is the nation's first President. 19601901-2000
1960Chad becomes independent of France on August 11. Francois Tombalbaye is the first head of state.19601901-2000
1960Abebe Bikila, the barefoot Ethiopian runner, became the first African to win an Olympic gold medal. He competed at the games in Rome, Italy. 19601901-2000
1960On June 26, Madagascar is declared independent by France. Philibert Tsiranana is the first head of state.19601901-2000
1960On August 1 Benin is declared independent of France. Its first head of state is Hubert Maga.19601901-2000
1960On August 3, Niger becomes independent of France. Hamani Diori is chosen as the first head of state.19601901-2000
1960On June 20, Mali gains independence from France. Modibo Keita is the first head of state.19601901-2000
1960Senegal is declared independent by France on June 20. Leopold Senghor is the nation's first President. 19601901-2000
1960On April 27, Togo gains its independence from France. The first head of state is Sylvanus Olympio.19601901-2000
1960On January 1, Cameroon is granted independence by Great Britain and France. The first head of state is Ahmadou Ahidjo.19601901-2000
1960On June 30, Belgium grants independence to the Congo, (Leopoldville). Joseph Kasavubu is the first Head of State. Within weeks of that independence Katanga province secedes from the Congo prompting a four year civil war in that new nation and United Nations intervention. 01-021901-2000
1960Nigeria gains its independence from Great Britain on October 1. Nnamdi Azikiwe is the first President of the nation but in a powersharing arrangement worked out by the British, Sir Abubakar Tafawa is the first Prime Minister. 01-031901-2000
1960On July 1, British and Italian Somaliland are united to form the nation of Somalia. Aden Abdullah Osman Daar is the first Head of State.01-041901-2000
1960On March 21, 69 approximately 7,000 protestors gathered at the Sharpeville, South Africa police station to protest Apartheid pass laws. Police opened fire and 69 demonstrators were killed and 186 were wounded. In the aftermath the South African government banned a number of organizations including the African National Congress. The Sharpeville Massacre is considered the first major confrontation by black South Africans against Apartheid. 03-211901-2000
1960South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) is formed by Sam Nujoma and Herman Toivo ja Toivo. 04-011901-2000
1960The Central African Republic is granted independence from France on August 13. David Dacko becomes the first head of state.19601901-2000
1960France grants independence to Congo-Brazzaville on August 15. Fulbert Youlou is the first head of state.19601901-2000
1960Gabon becomes independent of France on August 17. Leon M'ba is the first head of state.19601901-2000
1960On November 28 Mauritania is declared independent of France. Moktar Ould Daddah is the first head of state.19601901-2000
1961On January 18, Patrice Lumumba, the leader of the Congo independence movement is killed by troops of the secessionist Katanga province. 01-181901-2000
1961The Nationalist struggle against Portuguese rule is launched in Angola. It continues until Angolan independence in 1974. 02-011901-2000
1961On April 27, Sierra Leone gains its independence from Great Britain. Milton Margai is its first head of state. 03-011901-2000
1961An armed guerilla struggle begins in the Portuguese colonies of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. The struggle continues until both colonies are granted independence in 1975. 04-011901-2000
1961On December 9, Tanganyika gains its independence from Great Britain. Julius Nyerere is the first head of state. 05-011901-2000
1962Yemen abolishes slavery.19621901-2000
1962On July 3, Algeria is declared independent by France. Ahmed Ben Bella is its first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1962On October 9, Uganda gains its independence from Great Britain. The first head of state is Milton Obote.19621901-2000
1962Jamaica gains its independence from Great Britain on August 6. Alexander Bustamante is the first head of state. 01-021901-2000
1962Trinidad & Tobago gain independence from Great Britain on August 31. Eric Eustace Williams is the first head of state. 01-031901-2000
1962Saudi Arabia abolishes slavery. 01-041901-2000
1962On July 1, Rwanda is granted independence by Belgium. Gregoire Kayibanda is its first head of state.19621901-2000
1962On July 1, Burundi is granted independence by Belgium. King Mwambutsa IV is the first head of state.19621901-2000
1963James Baldwin publishes The Fire Next Time while living in Paris. 06-111901-2000
1963Kenya gains independence from Great Britain on December 12. Jomo Kenyatta is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1963The Organization of African Unity (OAU) founded in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, on May 23. 01-021901-2000
1963The United Arab Emirates abolish slavery. 01-031901-2000
1964Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiongo publishes Weep Not, Child, the first major novel in English by an East African. 19641901-2000
1964On December 10, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm, Sweden. 12-101901-2000
1964On July 6, Malawi is declared independent by Great Britain. Hastings Kamuzu Banda is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1964Tanganyikan President Julius Nyerere negotiates an agreement with newly independent Zanzibar to merge the two nations. Nyerere becomes President of the new nation of Tanzania. 01-021901-2000
1964A Nationalist guerilla struggle against Portuguese rule is launched in Mozambique. It continues until Mozambique is declared independent in 1974. 01-031901-2000
1964On October 24, Zambia is declared independent by Great Britain. Kenneth Kaunda is the first head of state. 19641901-2000
1965Gambia gains independence from Great Britain on February 18. Dawda Kairaba Jawara is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1965The white minority-controlled Rhodesian government declares its independence from Great Britain. 01-021901-2000
1966Nigerian novelist Flora Nwapa, publishes Efuru, one of the first novels in English by an African woman. 19661901-2000
1966First World Festival of Negro Arts (FESTAC) is held in Dakar, Senegal. 19661901-2000
1966Botswana gains independence from Great Britain on September 30. Seretse Khama is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1966Barbados gains independence from Great Britain on November 30. Errol Barrow is the first head of state. 01-021901-2000
1966The first military coup takes place in Nigeria, led by Igbo officers. It will lead directly to the Nigerian Civil War. 01-031901-2000
1966Guyana gains its independence from Great Britain on May 26. Linden Forbes Sampson Burham is the first head of state.19661901-2000
1966Lesotho gains its independence from Great Britain on October 4. Leabua Jonathan is the first head of state.19661901-2000
1967The oil rich states of southeastern Nigeria secede and declare themselves the independent Republic of Biafra. Their action initiates the three year Nigerian Civil War. 01-011901-2000
1968Senegelese writer and film director Ousmane Sembene produces Mandabi, the first film in the Wolof language. 19681901-2000
1968Equatorial Guinea gain independence from Spain on October 12. Francisco Macias Nguema is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1968Steve Biko founds the anti-Apartheid South Africa Students Organization (SASO). Eventually it becomes one of the largest black protest organizations in the nation. 01-021901-2000
1968Mauritius gains its independence from Great Britain on March 12.19681901-2000
1969Learie Constantine [Lord Constantine] becomes the first person of African ancestry to become a British peer.19691901-2000
1970The Nigerian Civil War ends with the surrender of the Republic of Biafra. Over one million Nigerians, mostly in the breakaway state of Biafra, die including many of starvation. 01-011901-2000
1970Oman abolishes slavery. 01-021901-2000
1970Josephine Hosten, a native of Grenada and a flight attendant became the first woman of African ancestry to will the Miss World pageant.19701901-2000
1971General Idi Amin overthrows the government of President Milton Obote establishes a dictatorship in Uganda. Amin remains in power until 1986. 01-011901-2000
1972Uganda Asians are expelled from the nation by the dictator, General Idi Amin. 01-011901-2000
1972Nearly 150,000 Hutus are massacred by the Tutsi in Burundi. 01-021901-2000
1972Rosemary Brown of Vancouver becomes the first Afro-Canadian woman to be elected to public office when she wins a seat in the British Columbia Legislative Assembly. 01-031901-2000
1972A famine begins in Ethiopia which in the next two years kills over 200,000 people. 01-041901-2000
1973The Bahamas gains independence from Great Britain on July 10. Lynden Pindling is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1973Guinea-Bissau gains its independence from Portugal on September 24. Luis Cabral is the first head of state.19731901-2000
1974On October 30, Muhammad Ali defeats George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire to regain the world heavyweight championship. 10-301901-2000
1974The seventh Pan African Congress meets in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 19741901-2000
1974Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie is deposed following a Marxist military coup led by Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam. 01-011901-2000
1974Approximately 750,000 Portuguese colonists leave Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau and return to Portugal after that nation's decision to withdraw from all of its African colonies. 01-021901-2000
1974Greneda gains its independence from Great Britain on February 7. Sir Eric Matthew Gairy is the first head of state.19741901-2000
1975On June 25, Mozambique gain its independence from Portugal. Samora Machel is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1975Cape Verde wins its independence from Portugal on July 5.19751901-2000
1975On November 11, Angola gains its independence from Portugal. Agostinho Neto is the first head of state. Angolan independence is followed by the Angolan Civil War, a twenty-seven year conflict between the Marxist government and South African-backed rebels. The war ends in February 2002 with the death of rebel leader Jonas Savimbi. 01-031901-2000
1975Surinam gains independence from the Netherlands on November 25. Johan Ferrier is the first head of state. 01-041901-2000
1975On July 12, Sao Tome & Principe gain indepenence from Portugal. 01-051901-2000
1975Comoros is granted independence from France on July 6.19751901-2000
1976On June 25, Seychelles gains independence from Great Britain. James Richard Marie Mancham is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1976Cuban troops and military advisors from the Soviet Union are sent to assist the Angolan government in its campaign against South African-supported insurgents during the Angolan Civil War. Cuban troops remain in Angola until 1991. 01-021901-2000
1976The first Bantustans or homelands are created by the South African government to prevent black majority rule. These new quasi-independent states are intended to be the home of most of the blacks residing in South Africa. 01-031901-2000
1976Student-led riots break out in Soweto, the sprawling all-black township outside of Johannesburg, to protest Apartheid and continuing white minority rule. 01-041901-2000
1976On July 3, Israeli commandos landed at Entebbe Airport outside Kampala and rescued 103 hostages held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). 07-031901-2000
1977Janelle Commissiong, representing Trinidad & Tobago, was crowned Miss Universe at the pageant in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. She was the first woman of African descent to win the title. 19771901-2000
1977The First Congress of Black Culture in the Americas convenes in Columbia.19771901-2000
1977On June 27, Djibouti gains its independence from France. Hassan Gouled Aptidon is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1977President Jean-Bedel Bokassa declares the Central African Republic to be the Central African Empire and crowns himself Emperor Bokassa I. 01-021901-2000
1977War breaks out between Ethiopia and Somalia over the Ogaden region. The conflict will continue until 1988. 01-031901-2000
1977Cuba sends troops to support the Marxist dictatorship in Ethiopia. 01-041901-2000
1978Dominica gains its independence from Great Britain on November 3. Patrick Roland John is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1979Emperor Bokassa I is overthrown and a parliamentary government is restored in the Central African Republic. 01-011901-2000
1979On March 13, Maurice Bishop leads a coup and seizes control of the government of Grenada. He sets up a Marxist regime and is ousted and killed on October 19, 1983, six days before United States troops take control of the island. 03-131901-2000
1979St. Vincent & Grenadines gain independence from Great Britain on September 19. R. Milton Cato is the first head of state. 04-011901-2000
1980On April 18, black majority rule comes to Rhodesia which renames itself Zimbabwe. Canaan Banana is the first head of state. 01-011901-2000
1980A military coup led by Sgt. Samuel K. Doe ends 133 years of political domination by the Americo-Liberian elite in Liberia. 01-021901-2000
1981Mauritania abolishes slavery. 01-011901-2000
1981Antigua & Barbuda gain independence from Great Britain on November 1. Vere Cornwall Bird is the first head of state. 01-021901-2000
1981Belize gains independence from Great Britain on September 21. George Cadle Price is the first head of state. 01-031901-2000
1983The adoption of Islamic law in Sudan leads to renewed civil war between Muslims and Christians and generates widespread famine in the southern third of the nation. 01-011901-2000
1983St. Kitts & Nevis gain independence from Great Britain. Dr. Kennedy Simmonds is the first head of state. 01-031901-2000
1983Abdias do Nascimento is elected to the Brazilian Congress in 1983 on a platform of promoting Afro-Brazilian rights. 01-041901-2000
1984Anglican Bishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu of South Africa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm, Sweden. 19801901-2000
1984In January Rev. Jesse Jackson travels to Syria to negotiate the release of U.S. Air Force pilot Robert Goodman who had been shot down over that country. Jackson returns to the U.S. with the freed pilot. 01-151901-2000
1984Eritrea secedes from Ethiopia. The resulting conflict and ongoing drought cause severe food shortages. An estimated one million Ethiopians die as a consequence of the famine. 01-011901-2000
1985Live Aid Concert is held in Sydney, Australia and simultaneously in London, Philadelphia and Moscow to raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief.19851901-2000
1985A State of Emergency is declared in South Africa in response to widespread anti-Apartheid rioting. 01-011901-2000
1985The Zimbabwe government under President Robert Mugabe begins compulsory purchase of white-owned farms under the recently passed Land Acquisition Act. 01-021901-2000
1986Wole Soyinka of Nigeria becomes the first African to win a Nobel Prize in Literature. 19861901-2000
1986The European Economic Community (EEC) and the United States impose economic sanctions against South Africa. 01-011901-2000
1989F.W. de Klerk replaces P.W. Botha as the President of South Africa. De Klerk immediately begins the dismantling of Apartheid. He also withdraws South African forces for Namibia paving the way for the colony's independence. 01-011901-2000
1990On February 11, Nelson Mandela, South Africa's leading anti-Apartheid opponent, is freed after 27 years in prison. 02-111901-2000
1990Namibia gains independence from South Africa on March 21. Sam Nujoma becomes the first head of state. 01-021901-2000
1990A civil war begins in Liberia initiated by Charles M. Taylor who challenged his former subordinate, Prince Johnson, for control of the nation.  The conflict continues until 1996. 01-031901-2000
1991Afro-French skater Surya Bonaly wins the first of five European Figure Skating Championships.19911901-2000
1991Eritrean and Tigrean rebels attack Addis Ababa and cause the overthrow of Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam. Eritrea wins defacto independence. 01-011901-2000
1991In May the Israeli government airlifts over 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to the nation of Israel. The Ethiopian Jews who call themselves Beta Israel, become the foundation for a population in 2010 of nearly 100,000 Jews of Ethiopian ancestry in Israel. 01-021901-2000
1992The United States and the United Nations intervene in Somalia to end famine and civil war in that nation. 01-011901-2000
1993Eritrea breaks away from Ethiopia to become an independent nation on May 24. Its first head of state is Isaias Afewerki. Eritrea is the first African nation to gain its independence from another African nation. 01-011901-2000
1993On October 3-4 in the Battle of Mogadishu, U.S. forces were besieged by Somali soldiers loyal to General Mohammad Farrah Aidid. Nineteen U.S. troops and approximately 300 Somali soldiers died before U.S. troops withdrew from the area of the city controlled by General Aidid's troops. 10-031901-2000
1993In December Nelson Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk are jointly presented the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm, Sweden. 12-011901-2000
1994On April 27 South Africa holds its first non racially restricted election signaling the independence of the nation. Nelson Mandela becomes the country's first democratically elected President. He serves as President from May 10, 1994 to June 14, 1999. 04-271901-2000
1994Civil War in Rwanda between the majority Hutus and the ruling minority Tutsis becomes a massive genocide as nearly one million Tutsis are massacred by Hutus and nearly two million Rwandans flee to neighboring countries. 05-011901-2000
1994Emery Barnes becomes the first black speaker of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly. 06-011901-2000
1995The United States withdraws from Somalia after the debacle at Mogadishu in 1993. 01-011901-2000
1995Benedita Souza da Silva Sampaio, is the first woman of African ancestry elected to the Brazilian Senate. 01-021901-2000
1995Nigeria is expelled from the British Commonwealth because of its human rights abuses including the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni political activists who bring international attention to the exploitation of the oil-producing Niger Delta. 01-031901-2000
1996Ethiopian Fatuma Roba becomes the first African woman to become an Olympic marathon champion. She wins the gold medal at the Atlanta Games.19961901-2000
1996John Taylor [Baron Taylor of Warwick] becomes the first person of African ancestry to sit in the British House of Lords.19961901-2000
1996Addisu Messele is the first person of African ancestry to be elected to the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.19961901-2000
1996Celso Roberto Pitta do Nascimento becomes the firt black mayor of Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city.19961901-2000
1997After 32 years in power, President Mobutu Sese Seko is ousted in Zaire by rebel leader Laurent Kabila who declares the nation the Democratic Republic of Congo. 01-011901-2000
1997Kofi A. Annan becomes the seventh Secretary General of the United Nations and the first African to hold the post. He remains Secretary General until 2007. 01-021901-2000
1998Terrorist bombing attacks at two U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania kill 250 people and injure another 6,000. 01-011901-2000
1999Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana wins Miss Universe beauty pageant, becoming the first black African-born woman to hold the title.19991901-2000
1999Civilian rule is reestablished in Nigeria after nearly three decades of military control of the national government. 01-011901-2000
2001United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm, Sweden. 20012001-
2001World Conference Against Racism is held in Durban, South Africa.20012001-
2002President Robert Mugabe wins disputed election and then arrests opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on charges of treason. The country is expelled from the British Commonwealth. 01-012001-
2002On July 9, the African Union is formed with its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The African Union (AU) is the successor organization to the Organization of African Unity (OAU). 07-092001-
2002Yvette Jarvis, a native of New York City, is the first person of African ancestry to be elected to the City Council of Athens, Greece. 08-012001-
2003First Conference of legislators of African descent from the Americas and the Caribbean meet in Brasilia, Brazil.20032001-
2004Wangari Maathai becomes the first African woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is selected for her environmental work in her native Kenya. 01-012001-
2005Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf becomes the first African woman to lead an African nation when she is elected president of Liberia20052001-
2005On September 27, 2005 Michaelle Jean was installed as the 27th Governor General of Canada. As Governor General she is appointed by the Queen of England as Canada's titular Head of State. 09-272001-
2006Portia Simpson-Miller, leader of the People's National Party of Jamaica, becomes the nation's first female prime minister.20062001-
2006Loria Raquel Dixon Brautigam is elected to the Nicaraguan National Assembly where she represents the North Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua. She is the first woman of African ancestry to sit in the Assembly. 01-012001-
2006In September Mayann E. Francis, a career public servant, became the first Nova Scotian of African descent to become Lieutenant Governor of the province. She is the second woman to hold that post. 20062001-
2008Dean Oliver Barrow becomes the first black Prime Minister of Belize. 01-012001-
2009On December 10, U.S. President Barack Obama receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm, Sweden. 20092001-
2010On January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince and much of the rest of the nation. Preliminary estimates of the dead exceeded 250,000, making this one of the worst earthquakes in terms of loss of life in the modern era. 01-122001-
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