IMPORTANT:This page has used Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia in either a refactored, modified, abridged, expanded, built on or 'straight from' text content! (view authors)

File:Breitmeyer-Tobin Building.jpg


Template:African American topics sidebar The stories of the contributions, hardships, and aspirations of the American People can been seen in the experiences of the African Americans who brought to this country or came of their own free will.[1] The Historic places listed,represent the achievements and struggles of African Americans. Each location has a powerful and provocative story. Visitors can gain a better understanding of the events and the people of that time. These places connected across time to create an understanding of what happened and why.[2] As historian David McCullough explains in Brave Companions, experiencing places "helps in making contact with those who were there before in other days. It's a way to find them as fellow human beings, as necessary as the digging you do in libraries."[3]

Outline of African-American History

This outline has been adapted from other related Wikipedia articles and The Negro Pilgrimage in America by C. Eric Lincoln and Before the Mayflower; A History of the Negro in America; 1619-1964 by Lerone Bennett, Jr.

Origins [4]

The Negro Pilgrimage in America; C. Eric Lincoln; Bantam Books, 1967</ref> or the ‘’’African Past’’’[5] The story of the African Americans begins in Africa. Early histories of Africa considered it the ‘Dark Continent’, both in the sense of the color of its people, but also for its lack of known civilizations. Studies beginning in the 1960s have found a rich history of civilization, including arts, architecture, public thought and major civilizations.[5] The story of African Americans builds from these roots and can be traced through historic sites associated with the slave trade in America.[1]

American Revolution [5]

While the term ‘American Revolution’ connotes only the war period (1776–1783), the entire colonial experience is included. Free Negros were present during early campaigns of the war and throughout the war. In March of 1770, Crispus Attucks died during the protest that has become known as the Boston Massacre.[5] At the Battle of Bunker Hill, Peter Salem and Salem Poor, two free Negros valiantly served. Salem Poor was commended for his actions that day.[5]

Slavery [4][5]

For over 200 years, the American system of slavery held four million people of color in bondage.[5] The affect was felt by all the people of the nation, including black, white, yellow, and red. It was premised on a system of racial supremacy that affected the development of the American Negro and the relationships of all American’s with persons of other races.[5]
The first blacks in the new world did not arrive on the slave ship to Jamestown in 1619. Rather, it was Pedro Alonzo Niño, navigator on the Niña the smallest of Christopher Columbus’s vessels.[4] From that day, Negro’s participated in nearly every major Spanish exploration in the new world. Neflo de Olaña and thirty other Negros were with Balbo when he, e.g., they, discovered the Pacific Ocean.[4]

Slave Revolts and Insurrections [5]
In the summer of 1791, Haiti witnessed the first successful slave revolt. This was not the first; it was one in a long series of revolts.[5] Between 1663 and 1864, there were 109 revolts on land and another 55 at sea.[4] Notable early insurrections include the 1712 uprising in New York City and the 1800 attack on Richmond, Virginia. That same year, Denmark Vesey, a free black, planned to seize Charleston, South Carolina, but was foiled when betrayed.[4]

File:House at John Brown's Farm.jpg


Abolition [4] crisis.
With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the United States gained a huge western dominion. With it, two aspects of American life came into stark comparison. The first was the expansion of slavery across the southern half of the nation, creating a vast agricultural empire based on a large rural workforce. The second was ‘Manifest Destiny’, the expansion of a free society westward across the continent.[4] The economic realities in the south precluded the development of a strong abolitionist base, while the lack of slavery among the industrialized north, neither supported nor abhorred the abolitionist cause.[4] By 1835, William Lloyd Garrison had established ‘’The Liberator’’ as the nation’s most militant abolitionist newspaper. Over the next 30 years, the north and the south would try to find ways to coexist with two different economic systems and a growing abolitionist movement.[5]

File:Levi Coffin House Fountain City Indiana.jpg


Civil War and emancipation[4][5]

File:Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park01.jpg

The ‘’American Civil War’’ is often seen as a war between white men over the fate of the black man. From the beginning, the African-American peoples played a significant role in the war.[5] As early as July 1861, three months after Fort Sumter, the United States Congress passed the first Confiscation Act, granting freedom to any slave who had been used to support the Confederate war efforts, once they were behind Union Lines.[4] Quickly General Sherman employed this new manpower in the construction of Union facilities from which to prosecute the war.[4] With the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, the First Regiment Louisiana Heavy Artillery and ‘’All Negro’’ unit was founded by General B.F. Butler. The War Department quickly authorized the enlistment of Negro soldier with the founding of the Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth and Fifty-Fifth Infantry Regiments. By the end of the war, there were over 150 ‘all-Negro’ regiments.[4] On Sept 29, 1864, the Third Division of the Eighteenth Corp of the Army of the James , moved forward to take the New Market Heights outside of Richmond, Virginia. The key role in this advance was given to the ‘all-Negro’ division. By the end of the day, the Union Army would stand on the heights overlooking the city of Richmond with a loss of 584 men and 10 Congressional Medal honorees now in their ranks. This action marked the beginning of the dissolution of the Confederate Government and the end of the war the following April.

Reconstruction [4] and ‘’’Black Power in Dixie’’’[5]

File:00001r Storer College Campus Map.jpg


Segregation [4] and the ‘’’rise of Jim Crow’’’[5]

File:Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Atlanta, Georgia).jpg


Northern Migration [4]

Expanding Opportunities [4]

File:Madame Walker Theatre Center.jpg


Civil Rights Movement [4][5]

File:MLK's Boyhood home.jpg



File:Dexter Avenue Baptist.jpg




File:AR LR Central High.jpg





File:1stChurchofChrist FarmingtonCT.jpg



District of Columbia





File:20070601 Wells House (2).JPG



File:Levi Coffin House Fountain City Indiana.jpg



File:Bethel AME Church Davenport Iowa.jpg

Bethel AME Church Davenport, Iowa










File:Stanley Institute.jpg

Template:CenterStanley Institute


File:William C. Nell House, 3 Smith Court, Boston (Suffolk County, Massachusetts).jpg




File:Highland Park Water Tower 2.jpg









New Jersey

New Mexico

New York





North Carolina


File:Mt Zion Baptist Church Athens OH USA.JPG




File:Peoples Hall.JPG

People's Hall in Ercildoun, an abolitionist center

File:JBrown Chambersburg PA.JPG

John Brown house in Chambersburg

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island



South Carolina





Virgin Islands


West Virginia

File:HP Harper's Ferry2.jpg



Further reading

  • Ballard, Allan; One More Day’s Journey: The Story of a Family and a People; New York; McGraw-Hill, 1984
  • Durham, Philip, and Everettt L. Jones: The Adventures of the Negro Cowboys; New York: Bantam Books, 1969
  • Ferguson, Leland G. Uncommon Ground: Archeology and Colonial African America; Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992
  • Harley, Sharon, and Rosalyn Terborg-Penn; The Afro-American Woman: Struggles and Images; Port Washington; Kennikat Press; 1978
  • Higgans, Nathan I. Harlem Renaissance; New York; Oxford University Press; 1971;* McFeely, William S.; Frederick Douglass; New York; Norton, 1990
  • Lyon, Elizabeth A.: Cultural and Ethnic Diversity in Historic Preservation. Information Series, no. 65; Washington D.C.; National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1992.
  • National Register of Historic Places: African American Historic Places; National Park Service & National Trust for Historic Preservation; The Preservation Press; Washington D.C.; 1994
  • Painter, Nell Irvin, Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas after Reconstruction; New York; Norton; 1976
  • Reynolds, Gary A. and beryl Wright; Against the Odds: African American Artists and the Harmon Foundation. Newark, New Jersey; The Newark Museum, 1989


  1. 1.0 1.1 National Register of Historic Places: African American Historic Places; National Park Service & National Trust for Historic Preservation; The Preservation Press; Washington D.C.; 1994
  2. Teaching with Historic Places
  3. Brave Companions (New York: Prentice Hall, 1992)
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 The Negro Pilgrimage in America: C. ERic Lincoln; Bantam Books, New York; 1967
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 Before the Mayflower: A History of the Negro in American 1619-1964; Lerone Bennett, Jr.; Pelican Books; Baltimore, Maryland; 1964
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.