Dec. 29, 2020

My Life Living Black In American History

I was born on January 26, 1954, which means I have lived in the following decades, the 1950s', 1960s', 1970s', 1980s', 1990s', 2000s', 2010s', and I’m just about to end the first year of my eighth decade 2020  in 2 days. I have noted 50 points of African American History that have occurred between 1954 to 2020. I haven’t included the past events of 2020 which have been catastrophic across this nation’s African American communities related to the Covid 19 virus. I lost my oldest son Joseph Shelton Hall Jr. due to Covid 19. I am about to be 67 years old in 28 days. So much history experienced and hopefully, I will live to see the abolition of racial inequality in this country before I pass on to life with my ancestors.    

During that period of time I have witnessed or have been alive as a black American during the following events:  

  1. Jim Crow America Segregation and Racial Bias Rules Coast To Coast
  2. May 17, 1954, Supreme Court Decision Brown versus the Board of Education Decision that supposedly ended legal segregation
  3. The 1955 Supreme Court Brown Two Decision “all deliberate speed” that stepped back the Brown vs. The Board Education Decision
  4. The August 28, 1955 murder in Money, Mississippi of 14-year-old Emmitt Till
  5. December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama
  6. December 5, 1955, the nation is introduced to a 26-year-old Baptist minister, Martin Luther King Jr. who is anointed the visible leader of the Montgomery Alabama Bus Boycott
  7. December 1956 The United States Supreme Court rules in favor of those African Americans boycotting the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Company 
  8. The desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas
  9. Congressional and Senatorial stonewalling of the 1958 Civil Rights Bill
  10. Freedom Bus Riders challenging the ugliness and vileness of violent racism in the American South in 1960
  11. Joseph Shelton Hall entered a segregated Fort Worthington Elementary School in Baltimore City 
  12. The 4 North Carolina A&T students begin the lunch counter protests that spawned a national movement
  13. June 12, 1963, President Kennedy addresses demanding action on Civil Rights Legislation
  14. The murder of Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963, in the driveway of his home by Byron De La Beckwith
  15. The death of William Dubois in Ghana on August 27, 1963 
  16. August 28, 1963, March on Washington DC for Jobs and Freedom which concluded with Dr. King’s I Have A Dream Speech
  17. The September 15, 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church by the KKK killing 4 little black girls
  18. November 22, 1963, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, and the swearing-in of President Lyndon Johnson
  19. Malcolm X is punished in 1963 by Elijah Muhammad for speaking out against late President Kennedy
  20. The passage by Congress of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill ending Jim Crow Legislation in America lead by Congressman Adam Clayton Powell of Harlem, NY
  21. Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party disrupts the 1964 Democratic Convention demanding equality of representation
  22. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. becomes the second African American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize
  23. The murder of Malcolm X by sectors of the United States Government and the Nation of Islam in 1965
  24. The passage by Congress of the Voting Rights Act in 1965
  25. Johnson War on Poverty and Great Society if uprooted by a military entanglement in Vietnam
  26. Urban uprisings that mark a nation’s indifference to African Americans in Watts, Newark, New Jersey, Detroit, Michigan
  27. The last successful Civil Rights March Against Fear includes Stokley Carmichael’s speech in June 1966 pronouncing the call for Black Power in Greenwood, Mississippi
  28. Joseph Shelton Hall enters his first integrated school Herring Run Junior High School in Baltimore City
  29. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense is founded in the winter of 1966
  30. Thurgood Marshall is nominated and approved by the US Senate to become the nation’s first African American Supreme Court Justice
  31. On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is murdered in Memphis, Tennessee setting off a national wave of uprisings in African American communities across the nation
  32. Bobby Hutton becomes the very first Black Panther murdered by law enforcement agencies of the State of California
  33. The Civil Rights Movement effectively dies as a result of the murder of Dr. King and ends with the failure of his final dream The Poor People’s Campaign
  34. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 is passed by Congress effectively ending unfair housing policies in the United States
  35. Richard Nixon is elected President and begins the political strategy of racial separation that is still evident today
  36. The United States Government informally starts a war on African American communities by flooding the cities with crack cocaine and weapons along with COINTELPRO policies that pit colored people against colored people the nation over
  37. Stokely Carmichael is identified as the most dangerous African American in the nation by J. Edgar Hoover
  38. Huey Newton and Bobby Seale confront the militarism of the law enforcement agencies of California and the United States Government
  39. Fred Hampton and Mark Clark are murdered in Chicago by the local, federal, and state law enforcement agencies and racial turncoats
  40. Senator Edward Brooke becomes the first elected African American United States Senator since Reconstruction
  41. Richard Hatcher becomes the first African American to be elected Mayor of a major American city in Gary, Indiana
  42. The National Black Political Convention convenes in Gary, Indiana
  43. Shirley Chisholm runs an effective campaign as the very first African American female to run for President of the United States 
  44. Douglas Wilder becomes the first African American to win a statewide election in a former Confederate State when he wins the Governor race in Virginia
  45. Carole Mosely Braun becomes the first African American female elected to the United States Senate 
  46. Jessie Jackson runs effective national campaigns for the Democratic nomination for President in 1984 & 1988
  47. HR40 the Bill for an African American Reparations Study Commission is introduced in Congress 
  48. The Million Man March the largest mobilization gathering of African American on October 16, 1995
  49. Barack Obama secures the 2008 General Election. Obama wins in 2008 and 2012 and becomes the first African American elected President of the United States serving two terms
  50. Racism and racial hatred is revived in the United States and the struggle for racial equality is still a far off dream  

 The unwarranted killings of black men and women over the past 30 years by state and local law enforcement agencies provide way too many names to list. The continuing inequity and inequality of justice by white supremacist institutions towards black American citizens.The continued economic deprivation of black communities since the nation's formation in 1781 to 2020. Wow, so many events that I have experienced related to our people's civil, social, educational, and economic rights over these past seven decades I have lived in. I Am A Man the signs held by the garbage workers in Memphis, Tennessee in the days before Dr. King's assassination. Yes, I Am A Man and even as we approach 2021 the power slogan still applies We Are Men and we demand the same level of equality and opportunity as every other American citizen.