Black History

Explore the topics below to learn about Black History through newspaper articles and clippings.

Headlines from the Birmingham Church Bombing (The Journal-News, via Newspapers.com)

Birmingham Church Bombing

The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing was an act of white supremacist terrorism which occurred at the African American 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday, September 15, 1963, when four members of the Ku Klux Klan planted at least 15 sticks of dynamite attached to a timing device beneath the steps located …Read More

George Washington Carver, circa 1910

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver (1860s – January 5, 1943) was an American botanist and inventor. He actively promoted alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion. Apart from his work to improve the lives of farmers, Carver was also a leader in promoting environmentalism. In an era of very high racial polarization, his fame …Read More

Josephine Baker dancing the Charleston, 1926

Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was an African American cultural movement that started in the years following World War I and ended in the mid-1930s. It was most vibrant during the 1920s and was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. This period saw an explosion in African American cultural arts such as music, literature, …Read More

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. 1822– March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John …Read More

Jackie Robinson, 1954

Jackie Robinson

Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was born in Cairo, Georgia, but grew up in southern California. He attended UCLA, where he participated in football, basketball, track, and baseball. From 1942 to 1944, during World War II, Robinson served with the U.S. Army. Afterward, he briefly played baseball for the Negro …Read More

Martin Luther King Jr., 1964

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a leading figure in the American civil rights movement noted for his support of non-violence and civil disobedience. King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929. In 1955, while working as a Baptist minister in Montgomery, Alabama, he led a successful year-long boycott of the city’s segregated bus lines. In …Read More

Newspaper headlines announcing the end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Asbury Park Press, via Newspapers.com)

Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama. It was a seminal event in the Civil Rights Movement. The campaign lasted from December 5, 1955—the Monday after Rosa Parks, an African American woman, was arrested for refusing to …Read More

US Supreme Court justice John Marshall Harlan, sole dissenter in Plessy v. Ferguson decision

Plessy v. Ferguson

Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court issued in 1896. It upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation laws for public facilities as long as the segregated facilities were equal in quality – a doctrine that came to be known as “separate but equal”. This legitimized the …Read More

Rosa Parks, circa 1955

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist best known for her role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, Rosa Parks grew up living with her mother and grandparents in Pine Level, Alabama. She was forced to quit school at age …Read More