North from Mexico: The First Black Settlers in the U.S. West

The first Black settlers in what is now the western United States were Spanish speakers who came north from what is now central Mexico. Their roots there began in 1519, when Black men were among the Spanish conquistadores who invaded and destroyed the Aztec Empire, … Read MoreNorth from Mexico: The First Black Settlers in the U.S. West

South Carolina’s Black Majority (1708-1920)

By 1708 South Carolina became the first British North American colony to have an African American majority. The first Africans to arrive in South Carolina likely came in 1526 as part of the San Miguel de Gualdape Colony organized and sponsored by Spain. When the … Read MoreSouth Carolina’s Black Majority (1708-1920)

The 1619 Project (August 14, 2019-)

The 1619 project was a collection of essays, poems, and photos surrounding the origins of slavery and subsequent inequalities in the United States, published on August 14, 2019 in the New York Times Magazine, commemorating the 400th anniversary of first arrival of enslaved Africans to … Read MoreThe 1619 Project (August 14, 2019-)

First Africans in the Jamestown Colony (1619)

In 1619, 12 years after the first permanent English colony was established at Jamestown, Virginia, a small cargo of enslaved Africans arrived at the colony at Comfort Point near present-day Hampton, Virginia. Until recently, historians had misconstrued the circumstances of how this human cargo came … Read MoreFirst Africans in the Jamestown Colony (1619)

Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery (1688)

The Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery was the first documented protest of enslavement of African Americans made by a religious body in the 13 colonies. The colony of Pennsylvania was established in 1681 by William Penn, and in 1683, Francis Daniel Pastorius, an educator, lawyer, … Read MoreGermantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery (1688)

CRITICAL RACE THEORY: A Brief History

In the article below, legal scholar Malik Simba explains the development of Critical Race Theory, the legal concept that has now become one of the most hotly debated topics in the ongoing cultural wars in the United States between political conservatives and political liberals. The … Read MoreCRITICAL RACE THEORY: A Brief History

Sundown Towns

Sundown Towns are all-white communities, neighborhoods, or counties that exclude Blacks and other minorities through the use of discriminatory laws, harassment, and threats or use of violence. The name derives from the posted and verbal warnings issued to Blacks that although they might be allowed … Read MoreSundown Towns

The Saltwater Railroad (1821-1861)

The “Saltwater Railroad” refers to the coastal waterway followed by many enslaved people escaping from the Southern slave states into the British-controlled Bahamas. The saltwater railroad served a similar function as the Underground Railroad, a land pathway, that allowed enslaved people to flee to northern … Read MoreThe Saltwater Railroad (1821-1861)