The Dred Scott Decision -1857
Dred Scott was a slave who trveled to Illinois and Minnesota with his master. He had thought since he was in free territory he should be free. Chief Justice Roger Taney said that Dred was still a slave because he was the property of his owner. Taney also said that slaves would never have American Citizenship.
The Emancipation Proclamation- 1863
Abraham Lincoln gave a order called the Emancipation Proclamation that declared that slaves were free in the Confederate States. The problem was that the Union didn't have power over the Confederate States. Lincoln demanded an end to slavery but this proclamation was still not effective.
The 13th Amendment- 1865
The Civil War had ended and Abraham Lincoln wanted to end slavery in the United States. To do this he needed to make an amendment to the constitution. The 13th Amendment was approved by 27 out of 3 staes and was accepted in 1865. This offically bannded slavery and canceled any laws supporting slavery.
The 14th Amendment- 1868
In the Dred Scott decision, the Chief Justice said that no slaves would ever be able to become US citizens. The 14th Amendment changed everything and said that anyone who was born in the US could be an American Citizen.
The 15th Amendment- 1870
Before this African Americans were not allowed to vote even if that had never been slaves. The 15th Amendment said that no matter what race any man can vote. (not yet woman.
Separate But Equal-1896
The Supreme Court ruled in "Plessy v. Ferguson" that segregation is ok as long as African Americans are given equal accommodations as others. There would be separate water fountains, medial care, and public schools for black Americans
Brown v. Board of Education - 1954
The Supreme Court ruled in this case that separate but equate public schools was unconstitutional. This law made it possible for black and white students to attend school together
The Montgomery Bus Boycott - 1955
In Montgomery, Alabama, and other places, there were separate seats on the bus for black people and white people. Rosa Parks, who was black, refused to give up her seat for a white man and was arrested and jailed. After that, for over a year, African Americans boycotted city buses. In December, 1956, the Supreme Court finally declared segregated bus rules unconstitutional.
Little Rock Nine - 1957
In 1957, 9 black students tried to attend Little Rock Central High School. Segregation had been ruled unconstitutional but many schools still didn't allow blacks to attend. The Arkansas governor sent the National Guard to prevent the students from attending. President Eisenhower overruled him.
Sit-Ins - 1960
Restaurants and other areas of life remained segregated. On February 1, 1960, 4 black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina, sat down at a white lunch counter. The restaurant wouldn't serve them. The students protested segregation by refusing to get up. This type of peaceful protest was called a "sit-in" and there were many of these throughout the south.
Ruby Bridges - 1960
Ruby Bridges was a first grader in New Orleans who was chosen to attend a white school. She and her mother were escorted there by federal marshals. Many of the white students' parents pulled them out of school but Ruby stayed there and graduated from high school and college.
Freedom Riders - 1961
Freedom Riders were people who protested segregation by riding buses to segregated areas of the south to protest and challenge the laws. They were people of many different races who believed segregation was wrong.
James Meredith 1962
Some colleges were still segregated in 1962. James Meredith was accepted to the University of Mississippi. He was black and when the school found out his race they rejected his application. The Supreme Court ruled he could attend but when he got to the college the entrance was blocked. He was finally able to attend and graduated.
"I Have a Dream" Speech" - 1963
Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I have a Dream" speech to over 250,000 people during a March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. His speech called for an end to racism. This speech and the march encouraged the president passed laws against discrimination.