of the rich history and many accomplishments of black Americans.
Between 160,000-154,000 years ago- Earliest Homo Sapiens live in modern day Ethiopia
3900-500 BCE Ancient Nubia, Egypt, Nok and other peoples across the continent develops royal dynasties
160 BCE Publius Terentius Afer's play Adelphi is performed and he is recognized as one of the great playwrights and poets in Rome
740 Islamized Africans (Moors) invade Spain and rule it until 1492.
800 Evidence suggests that African travelers may have come to the Americas. One indication is the great stone carvings of the Olmec era in Mexico, bearing African facial features.
1230-1410 The Empire of Mali in West Africa under Sundiata, Kingdom of Congo in Central Africa and Kano in East in Africa emerges.
1431 Regular commerce between East Africa and China is initiated.
1441 Antam Goncalvez of Portugal captures Africans in what is now Senegal and transports them to Lisbon, initiating direct European involvement in the African slave trade.
1450 Sankore University and Mosque are founded at Timbuktu in the Songhai Empire. In 1468, the Empire of Songhai under Sunni Ali conquers Mali and becomes the largest state in West Africa.
1527-1539 Esteban, a Moroccan-born Muslim slave, explores what is now the Southwestern United States.
1529 Pope Clement VII chooses nineteen-year-old Alessandro de' Medici, the son of Lorenzo de' Medici, and a former African slave named Simonetta, to become the first Duke of Florence.
1570 Afro-Spanish scholar Juan Latino publishes the first of three books of poetry.
1600-1790s Persons of African ancestry are among the founders or early settlers of numerous towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California including San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Tucson, San Diego, Monterey and San Francisco.
1619 Approximately 20 blacks from a Dutch slaver are purchased as indentured workers for the English settlement of Jamestown. These are the first Africans in the English North American colonies.
1627 Nzinga, Queen of Ndongo and Matamba, is victorious in a war with Portugal. She continues to maintain a free country until her peaceful death at 80 years old in 1663.
1688 Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania denounce slavery in the first recorded formal protest in North America against the enslavement of Africans.
1700 The publication of Samuel Sewall's The Selling of Joseph, is considered the first major condemnation of slavery in print in British North America.
1734 African-born scholar Anton Wilhelm Amo receives a doctorate degree from the University of Wittenberg in Germany where he defended his dissertation.
1760 Abram Petrovich Hannibal,a former slave who later becomes the godson of Peter the Great, is appointed a general in the Russian Army.
1770 On March 5, Crispus Attucks, an escaped slave of African and Native American ancestry, becomes the first Colonial resident to die for American independence when he is killed by the British in the Boston Massacre.
1775 US General George Washington and Lord Dunmore, British Governor of Virginia enlist enslaved and free blacks to fight in the Revolutionary War.
1779 Joseph de Bologne\Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an Officer of the Royal Guard of King Louis XVI, was an accomplished composer who in 1779 began performing music with Queen Marie-Antoinette.
1780 Paul Cuffee, a Boston merchant and ship owner, leads six other free blacks in petitioning the Massachusetts to end their taxation without representation. Massachusetts abolishes slavery and grants African American men the right to vote.
1784 Prince Hall establishes the first black Masonic lodge in the United States. African Lodge #459 is granted a Masonic charter by the Grand Lodge of England.
1787 Sierra Leone is founded by British abolitionists as a colony for emancipated slaves.
1793 Slavery is declared illegal in Upper Canada.
1794 Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is established in Philadelphia by Richard Allen.
1804 On January 1, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the successor to Toussaint L'Ouverture, declares Saint Dominque independent and renames it Haiti. It becomes the second independent nation in the western hemisphere (after the United States).
1804 Usman Dan Fodio initiates a holy war (jihad) that established an Islamic theocratic state, the Sokoto Caliphate, in present day Northern Nigeria.
1810 The African Insurance Company of Philadelphia is the first black-owned insurance company in the United States.
1815 Abolitionist Levi Coffin establishes the Underground Railroad in Indiana. Eventually it will spread across the North with routes originating in the South and stretching to British Canada. Harriet Tubman will be a great contributor.
1816 Shaka Zulu becomes King of the Zulu nation and begins to create an empire in the southern African interior.
1820 Rev. Daniel Coker of Baltimore leads eighty six African Americans who become the first black settlers to Liberia, a colony in West Africa for emancipated slaves.
1824 Moshoeshoe brings together rival clans to establish the Kingdom of Sotho in Southern Africa.
1827 Freedom's Journal begins publication on March 16 in New York City as the first African American owned newspaper in the United States. The editors are John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish.
1829 David Walker of Boston publishes An Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World which calls for a slave uprising in the American South.
1845 Macon B. Allen of Worcester, Massachusetts is the first African American admitted to the bar in any state.
1848 The French Assembly grants full voting rights to the inhabitants of Dakar and Rufisque who will govern themselves and send representatives to the French Assembly in Paris.
1850 The American League of Colored Workers, formed in New York City, is the first African American labor union in the United States.
1851 Sojourner Truth delivers her famous "Aren't I a Woman" speech at the Women's Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio on May 29.
1856 Wilberforce University becomes the first school of higher learning owned and operated by African Americans. It is founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishop Daniel A. Payne becomes the institution's first president.
1857 On March 6, the Dred Scott Decision is handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, defining black people without rights a white person must acknowledge.
1859 On October 16, John Brown leads twenty men, including five African Americans in an unsuccessful attempt to seize the Federal Armory at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) to inspire a servile insurrection.
1861 As fugitive slaves enter his camp in Kansas, Union General James H. Lane without authorization from Washington, enlists in his command the able bodied black males and sends the women and children to Kansas.
1863 Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation takes effect on January 1, legally freeing slaves in areas of the South in rebellion including Texas and the Indian Territory.
1864 Former slave Samuel Crowther becomes the first African Anglican bishop. He is appointed to serve in what is now Nigeria.
1865 Samori Toure, the leader of the Mandinka, begins an empire in the upper Niger River basin.
1865-1869 Laws, amendments and acts are passed acknowledging African-Americans as equals to whites.
1870 Hiram R. Revels (Republican) of Mississippi takes his seat in the U.S. Senate on February 25. He is the first black United States senator.
1871 On October 6, Fisk University's Jubilee Singers begin their first national tour.
1881 The Mahdist Revolution began on June 29 when a Sudanese Islamic cleric, Muhammad Ahmad, proclaimed himself the Mahdi.
1884 European nations at the Berlin Conference reach agreement on the colonial partition of Africa, solidifying the total conquest of the African continent by Europeans until the 1960s.
1895 Booker T. Washington delivers his famous Atlanta Compromise address on September 18 at the Atlanta Cotton States Exposition.
1896 Plessey v. Ferguson is decided on May 18 when the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the separate, but equal doctrine.
1896 The Ethiopians, under Emperor Menelik II, defeat the Italians at the Battle of Adwa and becomes the only African nation to successfully resist European conquest during this period.
1900 The first Pan African Conference, organized by Henry Sylvester Williams, a Trinidad attorney, meets in London in July.
1900 In January James Weldon Johnson writes the lyrics and his brother John Rosamond Johnson composes the music for Lift Every Voice and Sing in their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida in celebration of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln. The song is eventually adopted as the black national anthem.
1905 The Niagara Movement is created on July 11-13, by African American intellectuals and activists, led by W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter. This leads to the founding of the NAACP.
1906 On December 4, seven students at Cornell University form Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the first college fraternity for black men.
1908 On December 26, Jack Johnson defeats Canadian Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia to become the first African American heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
1912 The African National Congress (ANC) was formed in Bloemfontein, South Africa on January 18, 1912, when a group of Africans, Coloreds, and Indians convened a meeting to discuss their grievances against the colonial government.
1913 Bert Williams plays the lead role in Darktown Jubilee, making him the first African American actor to star in a motion picture.
1914 The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) is founded in Kingston, Jamaica by Marcus and Amy Jacques Garvey. 1914 Blaise Diagne wins a seat in the French National Assembly in Paris, representing Dakar, Senegal.
1917 Nearly 10,000 African Americans and their supporters march down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue on July 28 as part of a silent parade, an NAACP-organized protest against lynchings, race riots, and the denial of rights. This is the first major civil rights demonstration in the 20th Century.
1919 James Reese Europe's Army jazz band popularizes jazz in France and Western Europe
1919 The twenty five race riots and seventy-six documented lynchings that take place throughout the nation prompt the term, Red Summer.
1920s The decade of the 1920s witnesses the Harlem Renaissance, a remarkable period of creativity for black writers, poets, and artists, including among others Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.
1922 In September William Leo Hansberry of Howard University teaches the first course in African history and civilization at an American university.
1925 On August 2, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids is organized with A. Philip Randolph as its first president.
1926 Carter G. Woodson establishes Negro History Week in February between the Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass Birthdays.
1930 Wallace Fard Muhammad founds Black Muslim movement in Detroit in 1930. Four years later Elijah Muhammad assumes control of the movement and transfers the headquarters to Chicago.
1932 The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment begins under the direction of the U.S. Public Health Service. The experiment ends in 1972.
1936 On June 24, Mary McLeod Bethune is named Director of the Division of Negro Affairs, the National Youth Administration. She is the highest ranking black official in the Roosevelt Administration and leads the Black Cabinet. She is also the first black woman to receive a presidential appointment.
1940 On February 29, Hattie McDaniel receives an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her role in Gone With the Wind. She becomes the first black actor to win an academy award.
1940 Dr. Charles R. Drew presents his thesis, Banked Blood at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. The thesis includes his research which discovers that plasma can replace whole blood transfusions.
1941 Ethiopia with the assistance of British forces defeats the Italians and reestablishes its independence after five years of Italian occupation.
1941 The U.S. Army creates the Tuskegee Air Squadron who will soon be known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
1945, January 10 Fray Martin de Porres was officially named patron saint of social justice in Peru by Pope Pius XII, becoming the Americas first canonized black clergy.
1945 Ebony magazine, created by Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Company, published its first issue on November 1.
1950 On September 22, Ralph Bunche becomes the first African American recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation of a settlement between Arabs and Israelis in the 1947-48 Middle Eastern Crisis.
1950 Chuck Cooper, Nathaniel Clifton, and Earl Lloyd become the first African Americans to play professional basketball in the modern National Basketball Association (NBA).
1954 On May 17, the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education declares segregation in all public schools in the United States unconstitutional, nullifying the earlier judicial doctrine of separate but equal.
1954 Malcolm X becomes Minister of the Nation of Islam's Harlem Temple 7.
1955 Fourteen-year-old Chicago resident Emmett Till is lynched while vacationing in Money, Mississippi on August 28.
1957 On March 6, Ghana becomes the first sub-Saharan nation to gain independence when it is declared free by Great Britain. The first head of state is Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah.
1959 On January 12, Berry Gordy, Jr., founds Motown Records in Detroit.
1960s Many Black Nationalist organizations are founded such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Us and the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
1961 The Nationalist struggle against Portuguese rule is launched in Angola. It continues until Angolan independence in 1974.
1963 The Organization of African Unity (OAU), a union of independent African Nations founded in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, on May 23 by Ethiopia, Ghana and Egypt, succeeded today by the African Union.
1963 Over 200,000 people gather in Washington, D.C. on August 28 as part of the March on Washington, an unprecedented demonstration demanding civil rights and equal opportunity for African Americans. Dr. Martin Luther King delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech here.
1967 Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall takes his seat as the first African American Justice on the United States Supreme Court on July 13.
1967 On November 13, Carl Stokes and Richard G. Hatcher are elected the first black mayors of Cleveland and Gary, Indiana, respectively.
1970 Josephine Hosten, a native of Grenada and a flight attendant became the first woman of African ancestry to win the Miss World pageant.
1972 Over the summer New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm is the first African American to campaign for a US Presidential nomination.
1979 The Sugar Hill Gang records "Rappers Delight" in Harlem.
1982 The struggle of Rev. Ben Chavis and his followers to block a toxic waste dump in Warren County, North Carolina launches a national campaign against environmental racism.
1982 Michael Jackson's album, Thriller, is released. It will eventually sell 45 million copies worldwide, becoming the best selling album in music history.
1983 On August 30, Guion (Guy) S. Bluford, Jr., a crew member on the Challenger, becomes the first African American astronaut to make a space flight.
1984 In September The Cosby Show starring Bill Cosby makes its television debut. The show runs for eight seasons and will become the most successful series in television history featuring a mostly African American cast.
1992 On April 29, a Simi Valley, California jury acquits the three officers accused of beating Rodney King. The verdict triggers a three day uprising in Los Angeles called the Rodney King Riot that results in over 50 people killed, over 2,000 injured and 8,000 arrested.
1994 On April 27 South Africa holds its first non-racially restricted election signaling the independence of the nation. Nelson Mandela becomes the country's first democratically elected President. He serves as President from May 10, 1994 to June 14, 1999.
1995 The Million Man March organized by Minister Louis Farrakhan and other political activists is held in Washington, D.C. on October 17.
1996 Addisu Messele is the first person of African ancestry to be elected to the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.
1997 Kofi A. Annan becomes the seventh Secretary General of the United Nations and the first African to hold the post. He remains Secretary General until 2007.
1998 On June 7, three white supremacists chained James Byrd Jr. to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged him to his death.
1998 Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins becomes the first African American president of the National League of Women Voters.
2001 World Conference Against Racism is held in Durban, South Africa.
2001 In January President-elect George W. Bush nominates Colin Powell to be Secretary of State. Condoleezza Rice is also appointed to the position of National Security Advisor for the Bush Administration. This is the first time either post has been held by African Americans.
2001 Kenneth I. Chenault, takes position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express Company.
2004 Wangari Maathai becomes the first African woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is selected for her environmental work in her native Kenya.
2005 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf becomes the first African woman to lead an African nation when she is elected president of Liberia
2005 On September 27, 2005 Michaëlle Jean was installed as the 27th Governor General of Canada. As Governor General she is appointed by the Queen of England as Canada's titular Head of State
2006 For the first time in U.S. history, four African American members of Congress chair full committees in the House
2009 Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States on January 20.