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Today

Reaping the Rewards of Racial Preference

A typical white family today has on average eight times the net worth of a typical African American family, according to economist Edward Wolff.


Mortgage Lending Discrimination Today: ACCESS

Mortgage discrimination testing revealed differences in treatment that disadvantaged homebuyers of color 45% of the time.1 Upper income African Americans are 8 times more likely to have high cost loans than their white counterparts.2 The presence of high-risk lenders is 3.7 greater in minority neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods.3 Upper and middle income African Americans and Latinos are 10 times more likely to have high cost loans that low income whites.4

  1. FHCGB Audit 2005-2006
  2. MA Community Banking Council
  3. Paying More for the American Dream, 2008
  4. MA Community Banking Council

Redlining Today: What Form Does Discrimination Take?

African Americans and Latinos are discriminated against when in the market to purchase a home, according to 2004 & 2005 audits; still 60% more likely than whites to be turned down for a loan, even after controlling for employment, financial, and neighborhood factors. According to the Census, whites are more likely to be segregated than any other group. As recently as 1993, 86% of suburban whites still lived in neighborhoods with a black population of less than 1%.



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1999

Poorest County Identified

Shannon County, South Dakota, home of the Oglala Lakota on Pine Ridge Reservation is identified as the poorest place in the country.



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1985

Immigrant Reform and Control Act

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan reframes the issue of immigration as one of national security. Congress passes the Immigrant Reform and Control Act (IRCA) in 1986, leading to increased patrols along the U.S.-Mexican border, sanctions on employers of undocumented workers, and an amnesty program for long-term undocumented residents.



1980

Model Minority vs. Welfare Queen Myths

The Model Minority vs. The Welfare Queen comparison becomes popularized, stereotyping Asians as smart, wealthy, hard-working, docile, and spiritually enlightened, in contrast to Black women as misusing welfare payments through fraud, child endangerment, or manipulation.



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1972

Trail of Broken Treaties

Over 500 Indian activists traveled to Washington, DC to deliver a revamp proposal and review treaty violations with Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officials. BIA officials refused to meet, so activists took a week-long siege of the BIA building. The BIA finally agreed to review the 20 demands and provide funds to transport the activists back home. After, the FBI classified AIM as “an extremist organization” and added leaders’ names to the US “key extremists” list.



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1969

The War on Drugs

In a special message to Congress, President Richard Nixon says drug abuse is “a serious national threat”, kickstarting a chain of events that results with the unfair imprisonment of black and brown citizens over the next decades.



1960

Churches Oppose Desegregation

Many southern white churches oppose desegregation of schools, housing, and equal pay.


Churches Bar Blacks

Many churches patrolled their doorways to prevent blacks from worshiping in their churches.


Citizen’s Council

White church leaders and members get involved in Citizen’s Council, commonly referred to as the White Citizens’ Councils, an associated network of white supremacist organizations.



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1955

The Murder of Emmett Till

In the summer of 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy from Chicago, is murdered while visiting his grandparents in Mississippi. Supposedly, while out with his friends and cousins, he whistles at a white woman. Later that week, Till is taken from his grandparents’ home by a group of armed white men and never heard from again. Till‘s body was later found in the river, face beaten beyond recognition and body bloated. Caroline Bryant Dunham, a storekeeper who alleged in Emmett Till’s trial that Emmett Till had attempted to rape her, insinuating that her husband and brother-in-law were right in murdering him. She later recanted her testimony in 2016.



1954

Operation Wetback

“Operation Wetback” is a program designed to expel illegal immigration, unfortunately causing thousands legal immigrants to be unfairly deported.



1943

Zoot Suit Riots

White mobs in Los Angeles attack Mexicans leading to the famous Zoot Suit Riots. Police only arrest Mexican youth.



1942

Japanese Internment

FDR signs Executive Order 9066 ordering the evacuation and internment of Japanese-Americans.



1941

Pearl Harbor

Even before Pearl Harbor, Japanese are discriminated against in the U.S. After the attack, discrimination grows to monumental proportions.



1935

Wagner Act

The Wagner Act empowers white people with the right to collective bargaining, helping millions gain entry into the middle class over the next 30 years. But the Act permits exclusion of non-whites to unions, denying them access to better paid jobs, union protections, and benefits. Many craft unions remained nearly all-white well into the 1970s.


Social Security Act

The landmark Social Security Act provides a safety net for millions of workers, guaranteeing income after retirement. But the act excludes two occupations: agricultural workers and domestic servants, who were predominately African American, Mexican, and Asian. Instead of these workers passing wealth on to their children, their children had to support them.



1922

Ozawa v United States

Takao Ozawa, a Japanese-American, files for naturalization, reserved at the time for “free white persons or those of black nativity”, arguing that because he has white skin, and he and his children speak proper English, etc., he should be classified as white. The courts make it clear that the term “white person” means Caucasian, and Mr. Ozawa is racially unqualified to be a naturalized citizen.



1919

Corbin, Kentucky Race Riot

In the small railroad town of Corbin, Kentucky, a violent mob expells the majority of African-American families in retaliation after a white man was robbed by two white men in blackface. However, according to the affidavit, some white residents stand up to the mob, protecting black houses and businesses. The town remains white to this day. A former mayor is interviewed by NPR in 2016 about the incident, and he believes it did happen, just “not to that severity.” Denial, silence and shame has been the the town’s answer to this day.



1917

East Saint Louis Race Riots

White Americans murder 40-250 African-Americans in late May and early July. Six thousand more black people are left homeless from the burning and vandalism, with about $400,000 in property damage, or about $8 million today adjusted for inflation.


The Jones Act

The Jones Act makes Puerto Rican’s U.S. citizens eligible to serve in the military, but not eligible to vote in national elections.



1915

Birth of a Nation

Birth of a Nation is the first blockbuster film in American history, grossing $60 million by 1917. The film depicts the Klu Klux Klan as heroes, who protect white women from aggressive Black men – played by white men in blackface – who want to rape them. The movie sparked a influx of Klan members. It was also the first movie to be screened in the White House under President Woodrow Wilson, who said, “It’s like writing history with lightning. My only regret is that it is all so terribly true.”


Leo Frank Lynching

Leo Frank, a Jewish merchant accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, is lynched in Georgia. Many reporters deemed the conviction a travesty, and in Georgia, antisemitism and hatred toward Frank grows leading to his death. In 1986, Frank is posthumously pardoned by the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, although not officially absolved of the crime.



1902

Chinese Exclusion Act Made Permanent

After several short term renewals, the Chinese Exclusion Act is made indefinite.



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1896

Plessy v Ferguson

The Supreme Court issues the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling, determining “separate but equal” facilities for Blacks are legal. This ushers in legal segregation affecting Blacks and Mexican Americans which will last until the 1960s.



1895

The Hawaiian Takeover

Hawaiian royalists begin a coup against Dole’s republic, but ultimately fail. Queen Liliuokalani is arrested, convicted of treason, put on house arrest, and forced to absolve the monarchy.



1893

Dole Provisional Government

Queen Liliuokalani proposes a new constitution to give power back to the monarchy and voting rights to native Hawaiians. In response, Sanford B. Dole, founder of Dole Inc., stages a coup against the Queen with the support of the United States. Dole heads a provisional government until Hawaii’s official annexation in 1898.


Civil War Myths/Lost Cause Movement

Civil War Myths persist today1, a famous example being “the Civil War was about state’s rights, not slavery.” A big push for this narrative comes from the Lost Cause Movement, propagated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The UDC started as a group of wealthy Southern women who came together over the core values of reestablishment of slavery and commemoration of confederate soldiers, going on to erect most of the confederate statues that are still around today. Textbooks also contribute to Civil War myths. An excerpt from The History of Georgia says, “The master often had a barbecue or a picnic for his slaves. Then they had a great frolic. Even while working in the cotton fields they sang songs. The beat of the music and the richness of their voices made work seem light. The slaves were easily turned to Christianity. Baptism seemed to really wash away their sins.” These textbooks were not decommissioned out of elementary and middle schools until the late 1970’s.

  1. 2011 Pew Research Poll


1885-86

Anti-Chinese Riots in Washington

Years of anti-Chinese sentiment, said to stem from the Union Pacific Railroad company hiring Chinese as strikebreakers in 1875, culminated in tragic riots. Seattle’s Chinatown was burned down on October 24. That year there were also violent riots against Chinese in Washington, Alaska, California, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nevada.



1877

African American Lynching

After slavery is formally abolished, lynching emerges as a vicious tool to reestablish white supremacy, instill fear into black communities, and suppress black civil rights. More than four thousand African Americans were lynched across 20 states between 1877-1950. Government officials frequently turned a blind eye or condoned the mob violence.



1871

Chinese Massacre

On October 24, in Los Angeles where Union Station stands today, 18 Chinese immigrants are lynched by a mob of about 500 people (~10% of the city’s population) in retaliation for a local police officer & citizen being shot by Chinese immigrants earlier that day. One of the victims is Dr. Gene Tong, a prominent community figure and local physician. Eight people are convicted at trial, though overturned by the California State Supreme Court because of a technicality. The massacre is not memorialized by the public.



1868

Divide & Conquer Tactic

By the 1870’s, German & Irish immigrants show little hesitation in brandishing their newfound whiteness as a tool. When European immigrants are given the right to vote, they make labor unions to fight for their rights and get civil service jobs, largely at the expense of Chinese immigrants. In Nast’s Cartoon and the Anti-Chinese propaganda, we see the inner workings of the Divide and Conquer tactic. Both Irish and Chinese are being exploited by big factory owners, but instead of joining forces, the Irish use their newfound whiteness to subjugate others, continuing the cycle.


“Whiteness”

The idea of “whiteness” started to expand with the influx of European immigrants – becoming like a club, when admitted groups are allotted societies’ rewards and benefits, but when excluded are demonized and shunned by the dominant group.



1865

Broken Promises: “40 Acres & a Mule”

In the South, the federal government never follows through on General Sherman’s Civil War plan to divide up plantations and give each freed slave “40 acres and a mule” as reparations. The only monetary compensation made for slavery is up to $300 – to slaveholders as compensation for loss of property. When slavery ends, its legacy lives on not only in the impoverished condition of Black people but in the wealth and prosperity that white slave owners and their descendants accrue. Economists who study how much white Americans have profited from 200 years of unpaid slave labor, including interest, begin their estimates at $1 trillion.



1862

Homestead Act

270 million acres—10% of the total land area of the United States—are converted from Indian Territory and given away to private hands, overwhelmingly white, under Homestead Act provisions.



1855

Samuel George Morton

Samuel George Morton (1799-1851) is known as “The Father of American Anthropology”. He collects, meticulously measures, and categorizes skulls by race. The 918 human skulls he owned are on display at the University of Pennsylvania today. His main hypothesis is that “caucasian” people are more intelligent, arguing that the bigger the skull, the bigger the brain. He concludes that American Indians are a separate species between black and white people; that Jewish people should not be respected because “they were admitted into Egypt only upon sufferance”; and that the enslavement of Africans is justified because they are inherently inferior.



1851

Drapetomania

Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright came up with the term “Drapetomania” which asserted black slaves who fled captivity had an illness.



1850

Foreign Miners Tax

Foreign Miners Tax in California requires Chinese and Latin American gold miners to pay a special tax.


People v Hall

This appealed murder case establishes that Chinese in the U.S. have no rights to testify against white citizens. The ruling frees Hall, a white man, from the conviction and death sentence for killing Ling Sing, a Chinese man. Three Chinese people had testified to the murder.



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1848

Mexican American Lynching

At least 597 Mexican Americans are lynched between 1848-1928—only 64 in areas which lack a formal judicial system. During the California Gold Rush, as many as 25,000 Mexicans arrive in California, many experienced and successful miners. Some Anglos react with violence, and between 1848-1860, at least 163 Mexicans were lynched in California alone. Social historians William Carrigan and Clive Webb, have made a strong documentary case that the “lynching rate” for Mexican-Americans was comparable to African Americans – 27.4 per 100,000 between 1880-1930, second only to the African American rate of 37.1 per 100,000.



1838

The Trail of Tears

Despite the 1831-1832 Supreme Court ruling that the Cherokee had the right to stay in their lands, President Andrew Jackson sends federal troops to forcibly remove 16,000 Cherokee men, women, and children. This move breaks the Treaty of New Echota, and the Cherokee refuse to move. In May, American soldiers herd the Cherokee into camps where they remain imprisoned through summer. At least 1,500 perish, with the remainder beginning an 800-mile forced march to Oklahoma that fall. Four thousand Cherokee die in total during the removal process, though they did fight back. One notable figure being Seminole leader Osceola dying of malaria complications on January 30 at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina after leading a valiant fight against removal of his people to Indian Territory, though ultimately the Seminole are forcibly relocated.



1823

Johnson v McIntosh

In the US Supreme Court in the 1823 case Johnson v. McIntosh, Chief Justice John Marshall’s opinion in the unanimous decision held “that the principle of discovery gave European nations an absolute right to New World lands.”



1808

Slave Importation Ban Ignored

The United States government abolishes the importation of enslaved Africans with the Slave Importation Ban. The ban, however, is widely ignored. Between 1808-1860, about 250,000 blacks are illegally imported into the United States, and domestic slave trading within the states continues until the end of the Civil War.



1807

New Jersey Disenfranchises Black Voters

New Jersey restricts voting rights to tax-paying, white male citizens, disenfranchising women and black people, in a move historians believe happened to give the Democratic-Republican Party an advantage in the 1808 Presidential election, as voters from these groups often voted for the opposing Federalist Party.



1802

Ohio Constitution Prohibits the Black Vote

The Ohio Constitution outlaws slavery, but also prohibits free blacks from voting.



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1790

First US Census

The first time racial population statistics are written in a document, the government chooses not to count Black people and Native Americans, instead creating 5 categories: white males 16 and older, white males under 16, white females, all other free people, and slaves (counted as three-fifths of a person for tax and representation purposes). This system contributes a to a multiclass coalition of white people as opposed to a multiracial coalition of those who had an economic interest in common.


Naturalization Act

This Act only permits “free white persons” to become naturalized citizens, opening doors to European immigrants but not others. Only citizens could vote, serve on juries, hold office, and in some cases, even hold property.



1778

First Treaty Between US Government & Delaware Nation

The first treaty is signed between the new American government and the native tribe, the Delaware Nation, but the effectiveness of the treaty proves short-lived. By 1830, President Andrew Jackson had signed the Indian Removal Act, forcing some 45,000 Native Americans living East of the Mississippi to move West.



1709

Slave Market on Wall Street

A slave market is built on the foot of Wall Street in New York City, where Africans and Native Americans are sold as slaves. This highlights that the North was not unstained from the slave trade, and that Natives were also sold into slavery.



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1680

The Virginia House of Burgesses

As the first legislative body in colonial America, the Virginia House of Burgesses debates the question, “What is a white man?”, passing a law in 1682 limiting citizenship to Europeans and defining all non-whites slaves for all intent and purposes.



1676

Bacon’s Rebellion

On July 30th 1676, in a quintessential example of the divide and conquer tactic, tobacco farmer Nathaniel Bacon led other farmers to attack the Susquehannock Indians. Governor Berkeley refused, so in retaliation the farmers burned down Jamestown and killed many of the Susquehannock.



1664

Slave vs Indentured Servant Definition

In Virginia, the enslaved Africans status is clearly differentiated from the indentured servant’s when colonial laws decree that enslavement is for life and is transferred to the children through the mother. “Black” and “slave” become synonymous, and enslaved Africans are subject to harsher and more brutal control than other laborers.


Interracial Marriage Prohibited

Maryland enacts the first law in Colonial America banning marriage between white women and black men.



1663

Maryland Slave Laws

Maryland slave laws rule that all Africans arriving in the colony are presumed to be slaves. Free European American women who marry enslaved men lose their freedom. Children of European American women and enslaved men are enslaved. Other North American colonies develop similar laws. In South Carolina, every new white settler is granted twenty acres for each black male slave and ten acres for each black female slave brought into the colony.


Failed Gloucester Rebellion

Black and white indentured servants plan a rebellion in Gloucester County, Virginia, but their plans are discovered and the leaders are executed.



1657

Virginia Fugitive Slave Law Update

Virginia amends its fugitive slave law to include fining of people harboring runaway slaves, with a fine of 30 pounds.



1656

Blacks Prohibited from Bearing Arms

Fearing the potential for slave uprisings, Massachusetts reverses its 1652 statute and prohibits Blacks from arming or training as militia. New Hampshire, and New York soon follow.



1642

Virginia Fugitive Slave Law

Virginia passes a fugitive slave law, fining pounds of tobacco to offenders helping runaway slaves. An enslaved person is to be branded with a large R on their back or face.



1640

John Punch

John Punch, an indentured servant in the Virginia colony, runs away along with a dutchman and a scotsman. However, they are caught and brought to trial. The dutchman and scotsman are sentenced to 4 additional years of servitude – 1 with their master and 3 for the colony, but Punch is given perpetual servitude; the first time slavery is put into law in the colonies. Thus Africans and white people are treated differently in the eyes of the law. The ruling class needed a consistent reliable labor force and they could not have that labor force banning together and challenging the authority of the colony.



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1542

Encomienda System

A Dominican friar Bartolome De Las Casas, along with other religious leaders, puts pressure on the Spanish Emperor Carlos V to end the Encomienda System, which gave settlers the right to own Natives and use them for slave labor. While a seemingly progressive move, problematic results arise. Initially Las Casas advocated for using African slaves over indigenous Americans because Spaniards considered them to be “hardier” than natives. Though he eventually amended his views to advocate for the complete overhaul of slavery, he may have inadvertently planted the seeds in the minds of Spanish government of slavery based on race, versus the medieval concept of slavery as the result of war and conquest.



1539

Napituca Massacre

Spanish conquistador Hernando De Soto lands at Tampa Bay, Florida, beginning an expedition across the American southeast on behalf of the Spanish crown. He encounters Timucuan Indians and begins taking land from them. The Timucuan warriors resisted Soto’s men, but were defeated. Soto executed 100 of them, known as the Napituca Massacre. This is the first large-scale massacre by Europeans on American soil.



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1493

Doctrine of Discovery

The Papal Bull states that any land not inhabited by Christians is available to be “discovered,” claimed, and exploited by Christian rulers and declares that “the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself.” This “Doctrine of Discovery” becomes the basis of all European claims in the Americas as well as the foundation for the United States’ western expansion. In essence, American Indians have only a right of occupancy, which could be abolished.



1491-93

Christopher Columbus

Before 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue and came to the Americas, Native groups had thriving and rich societies. In 1491 there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe. Cities such as Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, were far greater in population than any contemporary European city. Furthermore, Tenochtitlan, unlike any capital in Europe at that time, had running water, botanical gardens, and clean streets. Pre-Columbian indigineous Mexicans developed corn by a sophisticated process described as “man’s first, and perhaps the greatest, feat of genetic engineering”.



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2013

Immigration Reform Bill

In the spring of 2013, comprehensive immigration reform was introduced to the U.S. Congress. If enacted, the bill will create a DREAM Act for persons of all ages, thousands of new visa allotments and a path to naturalization for undocumented persons living in the U.S.



2006

Day Without Immigrants

May 1 is dubbed the “Day Without Immigrants,” and many immigrants do not work to protest the new proposed immigration laws in order to make a point about immigrant contributions to American society.



2003

Census Demographics

New census numbers show the Hispanic community to be the nation’s largest minority group.



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1994

Prop 187

Voters approve CA Prop. 187. The proposition denies illegal immigration benefits like public education health care and other social services. The prop is overturned 4 years later by a US District court who finds it unconstitutional.



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1988

Civil Liberties Act

President Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act, congressionally approved after a decade-long campaign by Japanese-Americans. The legislation offered a formal apology and $20,000 to more than 100,000 surviving victims of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. Unfortunately, Reagan did not authorized the funding of the reparations. It was funded during George Bush’s presidency.



1987

Latina Representation

The National Hispanic Leadership Institute addresses the underrepresentation of Latinas in the corporate, nonprofit and political arena.



1985

Catholic Church Apologizes for Slavery

Pope John Paul II apologizes to black Africa for the involvement of white Christians in the slave trade, calling Christians to ”healing and compassion’’ because ”the man who is in need, on the side of the road, is their brother, their neighbor. In the course of history, men belonging to Christian nations did not always do this, and we ask pardon from our African brothers who suffered so much because of the trade in blacks.”



1983

Fight the Power

In the Spike Lee-directed video for Fight the Power by Public Enemy, Chuck D denounces the marches and speeches of the 60’s and calls for more radical action. This landmark song and video helped to mobilize a new youth culture with a civil rights movement of their own.



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1972

Indian Education Act

This Congressional Act established funding for special bilingual and bicultural programs, culturally relevant teaching materials, and appropriate training and hiring of counselors. It also created an Office of Indian Education in the US Department of Education.



1971

Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente was the first Latino in professional baseball to reach 3,000 hits. He started his career while segregation was still legal and played in two World Series, winning MVP in the 1971 games. “My greatest satisfaction comes from helping to erase the old opinion about Latin Americans and blacks,” Clemente said toward the end of his career. He died in a plane crash in 1972 while delivering supplies to Nicaragua after an earthquake.



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1969

UC San Francisco Berkeley Strike

Students at UC San Francisco Berkeley, advocating for a more diverse curriculum and faculty makeup, go on strike.



1968

Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA)

This Congressional Act required states to obtain tribal consent prior to extend any legal jurisdiction over an Indian reservation. It also gave most protections of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment to tribal members in dealings with tribal governments, and amended the Major Crimes Act to include assault resulting in serious bodily harm.


Fair Housing Act

The term “redlining” first emerged in the 1950s, and refers to denying service or charging more for products to groups based on race, sex, or where they lived. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 made redlining based on race, religion, sex, etc. illegal in mortgage lending.


Latinx Student Protest

Los Angeles Latino High School students walk out of their classrooms, to protest unequal treatment in schools. Three weeks later, the school board bows to their demands.



1967

Jonathan Daniels

Jonathan Daniels, a white seminary student from Boston who had traveled to Alabama to help with black voter registration in Lowndes County, is murdered while shielding young civil rights activist Ruby Sales from special county deputy Tom Coleman. Daniels’ death garners further support for the civil rights movement.



1966

Black Panther Party

The Black Panther Party is founded by college students Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in Oakland, California. Many Asian-Americans participate and support. At its inception, the Party practices open carry armed citizens’ patrols to challenge police brutality by monitoring Oakland Police Department behavior. The Party later expands to provide social programs, such as the Free Breakfast for Children Programs and health clinics for diseases like sickle cell anemia, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.



1965

El Teatro Campesino

Luis Valdez founds the world-famous El Teatro Campesino, the first farm worker theatre, in Delano, Calif. Actors entertain and educate farm workers about their rights. Immigration and Nationality Act Abolished de facto immigration discrimination.


Selma’s “Bloody Sunday”

On March 7, 25-year-old activist John Lewis leads over 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. State and local lawmen who brutally attacked the marchers and arrested more than 750 people. Footage of the violence shocks the nation and galvanizes the fight for racial justice.


United Farm Workers of America

Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, key leaders of the Latino civil rights movement, found the United Farm Workers of America. The UFWA leads the Delano grape strike demanding better pay for workers, with Filipino and Latino farmworker unions joining in solidarity. After a 5-year campaign, grape producers sign union contracts.


Voting Rights Act

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act, aiming to overcome legal barriers at state and local levels that prevent African Americans their 15th Amendment right – the right to vote.



1964

First Asian-American Woman Elected to Congress

Patsy Takemoto Mink, from Hawaii, is elected to the House, becoming the first Asian-American woman in Congress.


Civil Rights Act

Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, legally ending segregation in public places and banning employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.



1963

Sit-Ins

Black students and a white professor sit peacefully at the “whites only” lunch counter. In response, they are brutally attacked.



1962

Hawaiians Elected to Congress

Daniel K. Inouye, from Hawaii, was elected to the Senate and Spark Matsunaga, from Hawaii, to the House.



1961

Freedom Riders

300 Freedom Riders – interracial civil rights activists who took bus trips through the American South to protest segregated bus terminals – are imprisoned at Mississippi’s Parchman Farm Penitentiary.



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1956

Montgomery Bus Boycott

Over 100 church leaders were indicted with Dr. King for “illegally” boycotting Montgomery’s segregated bus system.


First Asian-American Elected to Congress

Dalip Singh from California is the first Asian American elected to Congress. Throughout the late 1950’s and into the 1960’s, Asian discrimination begins to recede in the U.S.



1955

Univision

The roots of Univision trace back to Raul Cortez starting KCOR-TV, a Spanish language independent station in San Antonio, Texas. In 1961, after unprofitable early years, Cortez sells the station to new owners who heavily invest in programming and turn around the station’s fortunes.


Emmett Till’s Funeral

After Emmett Till’s brutal murder in Mississippi, his mother, Mamie Till, ships his body to Chicago. She calls all the major newspaper sindicates and contacts Jet magazine to attend her son’s open casket funeral, letting the world see what happened to her son. Her bravery sparks the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. Three days later, when Rosa Parks is arrested for boycotting the Montgomery buses, she said, “I thought of Emmett Till and I could not move.”



1952

McCarran-Walter Act

This Act removes racial restrictions on citizenship by naturalization, though immigration quotas for people of color remained low. This is a first step to remedy immigration discrimination, albeit imperfect, and is replaced by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.



1945

Mendez v Westminster

Eight years before Brown v Board of Education, Mexican-Americans in Orange County, CA win over CA school districts in Mendez v Westminster, where the 9th circuit finds “separate but equal” unconstitutional.



1944-49

Navajo Code Talkers

25,000 American Indians serve in the WWII armed forces; another 40,000 Indian men and women are employed in wartime industries. Key among them are the Navajo and Comanche Code Talkers.



1943

Chinese Exclusion Act Repealed

The Chinese Exclusion Act is repealed, removing the annual Chinese migration quota of 105 visas per year. The aim was to strengthen ties with World War II ally China. However, the still-standing Immigration Act of 1924 stated that aliens ineligible for U.S. citizenship were not permitted to enter the U.S., including Chinese people.



1931

Alvarez v Lemon Grove

Twenty-three years before Brown v Board of Ed., there was Alvarez v Lemon Grove. Mexican parents sued the state of California and won, overturning school segregation.



1927

Raymond Pearl Denounces Eugenics

In an issue of American Mercury, Raymond Pearl, a John Hopkins professor, calls eugenics “a mangled mess of ill-grounded and uncritical sociology, economics, anthropology, and politics, full of emotional appeals to class and race prejudice, solemnly put forth as science, and unfortunately accepted as such by the general public.”



1924

Indian Citizenship Act

This Congressional Act extends citizenship and voting rights to all American Indians. Some Indians, however, do not want to become US citizens, preferring to maintain only their tribal membership.



1922

Franz Boaz Denounces Eugenics

By the 1920’s, eugenics is falling out of favor, but pernicious beliefs are still held as truth to the public majority. However, some push back, like Walter Lippmann in the New Republic newspaper, who denounces Franz Boas’s claims on racial science and IQ testing: “…[It] has no more scientific foundation than a hundred other fads, vitamins, and glands…”



1917

Lynching Protest

Nearly 10,000 African Americans and their supporters march down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on July 28 as part of a silent parade, a NAACP-organized protest against lynchings, race riots, and the denial of rights. This is the first major civil rights demonstration in the 20th Century. On August 23, the Houston Mutiny and subsequent riot erupts between black soldiers and white citizens; 2 blacks and 11 whites are killed. Twenty-nine black soldiers are executed for participation in the riot.



1915

Birth of a Nation Protest

The NAACP boycotted the film in Boston and Chicago. Mary Childs Nerney, the NAACP national secretary, wrote a letters to local film distributors to at least censor parts of the film.



1911

Society of American Indians

The Society was the first step in the direction of pan-Indian unity – was established and managed exclusively by American Indians, most of whom were well-known in non-Indian society and well-educated. Although members favored assimilation, they also lobbied for many reform issues, especially improved health care on reservations, citizenship, and a special court of claims for Indians.



1909

Founding of NAACP

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded by W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, Mary White Ovington, and others. The interracial organization promotes abolition of housing segregation and discrimination, education, employment, voting, and transportation,and African Americans’ constitutional rights.



1905

Niagara Movement

W.E.B. DuBois, William Trotter, and others (including several Black lawyers) found the Niagara Movement, the forerunner of the NAACP. The name is inspired by the group’s first meeting place – Fort Erie, Ontario, near Niagara Falls – to represent the “might current” of change the group aims to effect, like opposing racial segregation, disenfranchisement, and policies of accommodation and conciliation.



1903

Japanese-Mexican Labor Association

Mexican and Japanese farm workers in Oxnard, CA form the Japanese-Mexican Labor Assoc. after growers and the American Beet Sugar Co. lowered workers’ wages.



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1882

Paper Sons and Daughters

In response to legislation like the Chinese Exclusion Act, “paper sons” are created to take advantage of a legal loophole that grants children of US Citizens eligibility for citizenship, regardless of birth place. U.S citizens of Chinese descent create fictive “paper” children who could claim kinship based on this loophole, memorizing fake family trees, memories, and neighborhoods, and even change names in order to be granted entry by the Immigration Board. It is estimated that nearly 25% of Chinese Americans in 1950 illegally enter using this system.



1878

El Fronterizo

The Tuson, AZ based Spanish language newspaper El Fronterizo is established by Carlos Velasco, continuing to speak out against abuses of the Mexican-American community until Velasco’s death in 1914.



1866

Civil Rights Act of 1866

Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1866.



1859

Raid on Harpers Ferry

White abolitionist John Brown leads a raid on Harpers Ferry slave revolt.



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1815

Capture of Fort Blount

Runaway Slaves and Creek Indians capture Fort Blount, Florida, and use it as a safe haven for escaped slaves and a base of attack against slave owners. By 1815, more than 20,000 Indians lived in virtual slavery in the California missions.



1807

Slave Revolts

There have been 485 TransAtlantic slave revolts by the time congress votes to abolish the African slave trade in 1807.



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1780

Chickamauga Wars

Led by Dragging Canoe, a Cherokee warrior called Chickamauga by colonists, a group of Cherokee and allied tribes fought against white encroachment and settlement in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The Wars lasted from 1776-1795.



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1652

First Anti-Slavery Law in British Colonies

Rhode Island enacts first anti-slavery law in the British colonies, limiting slavery to ten years.