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African American / Black

1863 Emancipation Proclamation
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
wpe5f011a5_05_06.jpg

Chappel, A. (nobr 1838). Lincoln reading the emancipation

proclamation to his cabinet [Grisaille oil on cardboard].


Retrieved from http://www.mfa.org

From: Davenport University <http://libguides.davenport.edu/content.php?pid=303298&sid=2495766>

At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington

Dr. Carter G. Woodson realized the importance of providing a theme that would focus the attention of the public when he established Negro History week in 1926. The ASALH dedicates the 2013 Annual Black History Theme to celebrating the anniversary of two important African American turning points - the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1963 March on Washington.

The Emancipation Proclamation, decreed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1st, 1863, declared slaves in all confederate states then at war with the Union "forever free" and made them eligible for paid military service in the Union Army. Although it did not end slavery in the nation, it did transform the character of the war. After the proclamation was made, every advance of Federal troops expanded the domain of freedom and black men were allowed to serve in the Union Army and Navy. By the end of the war almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for freedom.

Download The Meaning and Making of Emancipation, an e-book commemorating the 

150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation featuring documents held in the National Archives. 

A Biography of Martin Luther King Jr. winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 1964

Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family's long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.

In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.

In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, "l Have a Dream", he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.

At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.

This article was taken from the Nobel Peace Prize web site.
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html

Tuskegee Airmen

Originally Posted 2/2/2009 

Taken from: The official web site of the U.S. A. F.

<http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123016224>

      

The Tuskegee Airman were an elite group of African-American pilots in the 1940s. They were pioneers in equality and integration of the Armed Forces. The term  "Tuskegee Airmen" refers to all who were involved in the Army Air Corps program to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors, and all the personnel who kept the planes in the air. 

 

The primary flight training for these service members took place at the Division of Aeronautics of Tuskegee Institute. Air Corps officials built a separate facility at Tuskegee Army Air Field to train the pilots. The Tuskegee Airmen not only battled enemies during wartime but also fought against racism and segregation thus proving they were just as good as any other pilot.  Racism was common during World War II and many people did not want blacks to become pilots. They trained in overcrowded classrooms and airstrips, and suffered from the racist attitude of some military officials. The Tuskegee Airman suffered many hardships, but they proved themselves to be world class pilots.

 

Even though the Tuskegee Airmen proved their worth as military pilots they were still forced to operate in segregated units and did not fight alongside their white countrymen. 

 

The men earned the nickname "Red Tail Angels" since the bombers considered their escorts  "angels" and the red paint on the propeller and tail of their planes.  

 

In March of 1942 George Roberts, Benjamin Davis Jr., Charles BeBow Jr., Mac Ross and Lemuel Custis received silver wings of Army Air Force pilots. These men completed the standard Army flight classroom instruction and many hours of flight time. Receiving their silver wings marked a milestone in being the first African Americans to qualify as military pilots in any branch of the armed forces. 

 

By the end of the war, 992 men had graduated from Negro Air Corps pilot training at Tuskegee; 450 were sent overseas for combat assignment. During the same period, about 150 lost their lives while in training or on combat flights. These black Airmen manage to destroy or damage over 409 German airplanes, 950 ground units, and sank a battleship destroyer. They ran more than 200 bomber escort missions during World War II. 

 

On Nov. 6, 1998, President Clinton approved Public Law 105-355, which established the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Ala., to commemorate and interpret the heroic actions of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.

 

When the site opened Oct. 10, 2008, at Moton Field, Ala., National Park Officials designated part of Interstate 85, which passes near the city of Tuskegee, as the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Highway. 

 

Major contribution by Airman Brian Butkus, 375th Airlift Wing Public Affairs