FREEDOM RIDES (1961)

Following the momentum of student-led sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennesssee in early 1960, an interracial group of activists, led by Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Executive Director James Farmer, decided to continue to challenge Jim Crow segregation in the South by organizing “freedom rides” through the region.  They used as their model CORE’s 1946 “Journey of Reconciliation” where an interracial group rode interstate buses to test the enforcement of the … Continue reading FREEDOM RIDES (1961)

JORDAN HATCHER CASE (1852)

Jordan Hatcher was a seventeen-year-old enslaved tobacco worker in Richmond, Virginia, who in 1852 rose from obscurity to notoriety when charged with assaulting and killing white overseer William Jackson.  According to newspaper accounts and trial records, Hatcher was working at the Walker & Harris tobacco factory when Jackson began flogging him with a cowhide for performing poorly.  Hatcher initially warded off the blows, but Jackson … Continue reading JORDAN HATCHER CASE (1852)

WYSINGER V. CROOKSHANK, 1888

Wysinger v. Crookshank is the first case that rendered school segregation of African Americans in California contrary to the law. On October 1, 1888, 58-year-old Edmond Wysinger, a former slave who bought his freedom working in the California mines, moved to Visalia, California. When he attempted to enroll his son, Arthur, in the only high school in Visalia, he was told that because Arthur was “colored” … Continue reading WYSINGER V. CROOKSHANK, 1888

LOUISIANA PURCHASE AND AFRICAN AMERICANS (1803)

It is ironic that the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France was instigated by one of the few successful slave rebellions. Toussaint L’Overture on St. Dominique (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) so bedeviled the French that Napoleon decided to sell the Louisiana Territory to the US.  This doubled the size of the infant United States and has been heralded as crucial to the American path to becoming the world superpower. It also had profound … Continue reading LOUISIANA PURCHASE AND AFRICAN AMERICANS (1803)