Black History Month 2024

1944 1945-1953 1954

32 Franklin D. Roosevelt | 33 Harry S Truman | 34 Dwight D. Eisenhower

Redemption Jim Crow Black Power

1896-1965
Jim Crow



United States - The system of legal racial segregation lasted until 1965. In theory, non-whites were to have the same access and services as whites. In law and in practice, whites gave themselves prvileges over non-whites in every area of public life. Black Americans were harmed the most, since they were the direct target of Jim Crow laws.

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1941-1970
Second Great Migration



United States - Hundreds of thousands of Black Americans moved from the South, due to war and the post-War boom.

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November 12, 1946
Song of the South Movie Premiered



Atlanta, Georgia - Walt Disney, with RKO Pictures, showed Song of the South at the Fox Theater. It was a fictional story that combined live action with animation, in a musical format. All of the Black American actors (live and animated) spoke in broken English. All the white actors spoke clearly and with confidence.

The setting was a slave plantation. The main character, was Uncle Remus, a slave. He told stories to the child of the white slaveowners family. All the Black American actors played slave roles in the movie. They played as happy, docile, obedient, and submissive. And, they were ready with a smile for their white enslavers.

On its release, many Black Americans denounced the movie as an insult to the true history of chattel slavery. Walt Disney ignored the advice of many Black Americans who tried to present a better image of Black Americans. Disney chose to embrace base racial stereotypes that were common, for the time.

Racist stereotypes included the Mammy, the Magic Negro, the 'happy slave' among many others. These are parts of the Lost Cause Myth.

The movie was a commercial success, in its first release. It was released again in 1972, and was the most profitable animation re-release, up to that time.

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April 15, 1947
Jackie Robinson Joined Major League Baseball



Brooklyn, New York - Jackie Robinson became the first Black American player in the Major Leagues. He made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbetts Field (now demolished).

Black American customers flocked to cities, wherever the Dodgers played. This led to the end of the Negro Leagues of baseball, as it lost its fans to the white Major League.

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January 12, 1948
Khalid Abdul Muhammad Born



Houston, Texas - Khalid Abdul Muhammad was born Harold Moore Jr. and raised by his aunt. Muhammad was a prominent member of the Nation of Islam.

Later, Muhammad served as the National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party. Muhammad held this title, until his death. He died February 17th, 2001, in Atlanta, Georgia.

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July 16, 1949
Groveland Four



Groveland, Florida - Norma and William Padgett, a white couple, falsely accused four (4) Black American youths of rape and kidnapping. They were Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd, Charles Greenlee, and Ernest Thomas.

William Padgett said his car had broken down, while with his 17 year-old wife, Norma. He said they had just left a dance. Padgett claimed the four (4) stopped and offered help. Instead, Padgett said they attacked him and kidnapped his wife.

There was a manhunt for the four (4). All were quickly arrested, except Thomas. The rest were taken to Lake County jail. In jail, the three (3) were tortured. Thomas was found a week later. All were charged with rape. Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall killed Thomas, before he was arrested.

As word spread, a mob of 100 whites demanded that McCall deliver the three (3) survivors to them. The mob was told the three (3) had been sent to state prison. In response, the mob attacked the small Black Americans community in Groveland. Black Americans were shot and their property was destroyed by the white mob.

At trial, medical exams found no proof of rape. Despite this, all three (3) were convicted of rape, by an all-white jury. Shepherd and Irvin were sentenced to death. Greenlee got life in prison.

The United States Supreme Court threw out the two (2) death sentences. Those cases were retried. As Shepherd and Irvin were headed back to trial, Sheriff McCall shot them both. Shepherd died. Irvin was injured. Sheriff McCall claimed self-defense. Greenlee never appealed his sentence, since it was not for death. He was 16 years of age.

A new all-white jury convicted Irvin. He was again sentenced to death. In 1955, it was reduced to life in prison. In 1962, Greenlee was paroled. In 1968, Irvin was paroled. He died a year later, of heart disease. Greenlee died in 2012, at 78 years of age.

Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall is pictured, on the far left.

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December 25, 1951
Harry and Harriette Moore Killed



Mims, Florida - Harry T. Moore and his wife, Harriette V. S. Moore were killed the night of December 25th, 1951. A bomb exploded under the bedroom floor of the Moores' home in Mims, Florida.

The couple were equal pay and voting rights activists for Black Americans. They were early organizers for Black Rights in Florida, after World War 2.

Four (4) white male Ku Klux Klan members were suspected of the murder. Yet, none were indicted, charged, nor arrested.

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