A History of Black Achievement in America

This original, nine-part series documents Black Achievement in American history, its defining role in the growth of the country, and its influence on current events. Presented by James Avery, the series highlights the many contributions of Black Americans that have influenced our culture, enriched our society with their achievements, and shaped the history of the United States. It's one of the least known stories in American history. It is the story of black achievement and accomplishment. Against all odds, American blacks have built their own institutions: families, schools, churches and businesses. Against all odds, American blacks have created great art and science.... Fought heroically in every American war. Against all odds, black men and women have worked endlessly to secure their own freedom and equality. The untold Story of blacks in America is a 350-year saga of incredible achievements. This is that story.
Settling the New World and the Founding of the United StatesRunning Time: 0:30:00

American Colonial History includes the stories of The study of Black Achievement or African American Achievement, Black Heroes or African American Heroes.

Chapter List
1.) 1619-1621 Blacks Arrive at Jamestown
00:05:38Anthony Johnson, who had arrived at Jamestown, one of the English Colonies in Virginia, became a free Black.
2.) 1705 The Virginia General Assembly Passes the Slave Codes
00:07:24Blacks were brought from Africa through the slave trade and put into slavery in America with the slave codes.
3.) 1762 Entrepreneur Samuel Fraunces Opens New York City's Most cherished Revolutionary War Site: The F
00:03:20A Black entrepreneur, Samuel Fraunces, founded the Fraunces Tavern, a New York City Historical Site.
4.) 1770 Crispus Attucks and the Black Patriots
00:05:11Crispus Attucks was a Black patriot who was the first to die in the Revolutionary War's Boston Massacre.
Emergence of the Black HeroRunning Time: 0:28:00

Black Achievement or African American Achievement, and Black Heroes or African American Heroes, are showcased in the first 75 years of the Founding of the United States of America

Chapter List
1.) 1772 - Chicago is Settled by Jean DuSable
00:03:49Chicago was founded by Jean DuSable, black entrepreneur and pioneer.
2.) 1776 - Lemuel Haynes Helps Lay the Foundation for Abolition
00:04:36Lemuel Haynes, Black patriot, poet and minute man would lay the foundation for the Black call for abolition.
3.) 1791 - The First Black Man of Science, Benjamin Banneker, Surveys Washington, D.C.
00:02:07Benjamin Banneker, was a Black scientist who helped design Washington D.C.
4.) 1821 - African Grove Theatre Founded in New York
00:03:21James Hewlett, William Brown, Ian Aldridge were Black Actors who founded the African Grove Theater in New York City
5.) 1822 - Denmark Vesey and the Slave Revolts
00:03:27Slavery produced the slave revolts led by Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner.
6.) 1823 - Legendary Mountain Man James Beckwourth Enters the Rockies
00:02:26James Beckwourth was a mountain man, a Black mountain man, who opened up part of the Oregon Trail.
7.) 1849 - Harriet Tubman Uses Underground Railroad to Become Free
00:02:38Harriet Tubman used the Underground Railroad to fight slavery.
The Fight for FreedomRunning Time: 0:27:00

Black Achievement or African American Achievement, and Black Heroes or African American Heroes are depicted against the backdrop of the American Civil War.

Chapter List
1.) 1851 - Sojourner Truth Delivers Famous "Ain't I a Woman?" Speech
00:03:05Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist who fought for women's rights and against slavery.
2.) 1854 - First Black University Founded: Lincoln University
00:02:33Lincoln University was a Black institution that graduated Black leaders such as Thurgood Marshall and Langston Hughes
3.) 1855 - Frederick Douglass Publishes My Bondage and My Freedom
00:03:30Frederick Douglass was a black author whose anti slavery book, My Bondage and My Freedom, was a call for abolition.
4.) 1857 - Dred Scott Decision Helps Trigger the Civil War
00:02:51Dred Scott a Missouri slave sued to win his freedom an the Supreme Court's decision that he was not free but property started the Civil War.
5.) 1863 - Lincoln Signs Emancipation Proclamation
00:03:04After the Union won the battle of Antietam, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in the South.
6.) 1863 - Black Regiment Storms Fort Wagner in the Civil War
00:03:57During the Civil War at the Battle of Fort Wagner, Sergeant William Carney became the first Black soldier to win the Medal Of Honor, and Black soldiers served so honorably that after the war two Black Cavalry regiments were formed.
7.) 1865 - 1869-- 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments Establish Civil Rights for All
00:02:23After the Civil War the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution guaranteed civil rights to all blacks, including the right to vote.
Blacks Enter the Gilded AgeRunning Time: 0:28:00

Achievement or African American Achievement, and Black Heroes or African American Heroes are shown in America's Gilded Age.

Chapter List
1.) 1875 - Robert Smalls, Former Slave, Elected to House
00:03:10Robert Smalls, a Black Congressman, and Hiram Revels, a Black U.S. senator, used the Reconstruction Acts to gain political power.
2.) 1878 - The Black Cowboy and George McJunkin
00:04:06After emancipation black men such as Nat Love and Bass Reeves went west where they became cowboys and lawmen, and later, Black cowboy, George McJunkin discovered the Folsom point.
3.) 1881 - Booker T. Washington Opens Tuskegee Institute
00:02:46Booker T. Washington, who founded Tuskegee Institute and wrote Up From Slavery, would promote using education and labor skills to further social moderation, while W.E.B. Dubois would fight for immediate social and political equality.
4.) 1884 - T. Thomas Fortune Prophesies the Long and Bitter Struggle for Equality
00:03:01T. Thomas Fortune, Black newspaper man who founded The New York Globe and coined the term Afro-American, fights for Civil Rights.
5.) 1887 - Granville T. Woods, Called the "Black Edison," Patents the Induction Telegraph System
00:02:43Black inventor Granville T. Woods invents the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph.
6.) 1893 - Ida B. Wells-Barnett Crusades Against Black Lynching in America
00:03:59Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the first of the Black women Civil Rights activists, crusaded against Black lynching,.
7.) 1896 - Plessy v. Ferguson Case Upholds Segregation
00:02:45In Plessy v. Ferguson, the U.S. Supreme Court, upholds segregation and Jim Crow laws setting back civil rights.
The Foundation for EqualityRunning Time: 0:28:00

The Progressive Era and the Roaring Twenties were periods of great success for Black Achievement or African American Achievement, and Black Heroes or African American Heroes.

Chapter List
1.) 1904 - Scott Joplin and Ma Rainey Initiate the Merger of Two Cultures
00:04:21Composer Scott Joplin and singer Ma Rainey lead the way in jazz and blues for black composers and black singers.
2.) 1909 - Matthew Henson Discovers the North Pole
00:04:30Black explorer Matthew Henson and Robert Peary become the first to reach the North Pole.
3.) 1909 - W.E.B. Du Bois Founds the NAACP
00:02:52W.E.B. Du Bois founds the NAACP to fight Jim Crow laws and segregation and to promote Civil Rights.
4.) 1924 - George Washington Carver, Renaissance Man
00:04:05George Washington Carver - Black scientist, inventor and naturalist - sets the stage for other black scientists.
5.) 1925 - Alain Locke Leads Harlem Renaissance
00:04:25Black author Alain Locke leads the Harlem Renaissance in New York City.
6.) 1926 - Satchel Paige Stars in the National Negro Baseball League
00:03:05Black Baseball player, Satchel Paige, stars in the National Negro Baseball League as its star Black pitcher.
Depression and WarRunning Time: 0:27:00

During the Depression and World War Two, there were still Black Achievements or African American Achievements, as well as Black Heroes or African American Heroes.

Chapter List
1.) 1935 - Mary McLeod Bethune: American Woman of the 20th Century
00:04:13Mary McLeod Bethune, a member of FDR's Black Cabinet, founded Bethune Cookman College and the National Council of Negro Women, which allied with the NAACP to promote Civil Rights.
2.) 1936-38 - Jesse Owens And Joe Louis debunk Hitler's Claim of Aryan superiority
00:03:14Black track star Jesse Owens and black boxer Joe Louis set the stage for other black athletes, such as Jackie Robinson, and other blacks to succeed in all walks of life.
3.) 1939 - Hattie McDaniel Wins the Oscar
00:03:59Oscar winner, Hattie McDaniel, for Gone with the Wind, leads the way for Black actors to be recognized, and later setting the stage for Blaxploitation films and the emergence of black superstars.
4.) 1940 - First Black General, Benjamin O. Davis Sr., is Stepping Stone to Desegregation of U.S. Army
00:05:54From the 19th century's Buffalo Soldiers to WWII' Tuskegee Airmen, blacks served the U.S. in time of war, but it would be the first Black General Benjamin O. Davis who would lead the army to desegregation and the later recognition of leaders like Colin Powell.
5.) 1943 - Duke Ellington's Band Performs "Black, Brown and Beige" at Carnegie Hall
00:04:04Jazz pianist Duke Ellington, set the stage for other Jazz greats, like Louis Armstrong, to succeed, and eventually set the stage for the independent black record company Motown Records.
Civil RightsRunning Time: 0:28:00

The Civil Rights Era was a great period of Black Achievement or African American Achievement, and Black Heroes or African American Heroes.

Chapter List
1.) 1950 - Ralph Bunche Wins the Nobel Peace Prize
00:04:06Ralph Bunche, after winning the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his United Nations work, lent his name and prestige to the fight for Civil Rights for American Blacks.
2.) 1950 - Gwendolyn Brooks Becomes the First Black Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize
00:03:06Gwendolyn Brooks, Pulitzer Prize winning author, inspired the idea of 'Black is beautiful.'
3.) 1954 - Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
00:02:51In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the Supreme Court overturned Plessey v. Ferguson, ending 60 years of 'separate but equal' segregation and instituting a civil Rights breakthrough of integration.
4.) 1955 - Rosa Parks Refuses to Give Up Her Seat to a White Passenger on a Montgomery Bus
00:02:28Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus and set the stage for the end of segregation and the beginning of full Civil Rights for Blacks.
5.) 1956 - Althea Gibson, First Black Woman To Win a Tennis Grand Slam Event
00:01:57Althea Gibson, a Black athlete in tennis, opened the door for Black women athletes in American sports.
6.) 1959 - Lorraine Hansberry's Play A Raisin in the Sun is Produced
00:05:13Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sidney Poitier, was a woman author and American playwright who opened the door for other Black playwrights on Broadway.
7.) 1963 - Martin Luther King Jr. Delivers His I have a Dream Speech
00:03:11Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech would be the culmination of non-violent protests and Freedom Rides to end segregation and bring on Black Civil Rights.
A New AgeRunning Time: 0:27:00

There has been much Black Achievement or African American Achievement, and many Black Heroes or African American Heroes in America's Information Age.

Chapter List
1.) 1967 - Muhammad Ali Refuses Induction into the U.S. Army on Religious Grounds
00:05:56Black boxer Cassius Clay, who changed his name to Muhammad Ali, would lead the fight for Black power and Civil Rights.
2.) 1967 - Thurgood Marshall, First Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice
00:03:33Lincoln University graduate and Black lawyer Thurgood Marshall, who led the team fighting for Civil Rights in Brown v. Board of Education, is appointed as the first Black justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.
3.) 1977 - Alex Haley's Roots: The Saga of An American Family Appears on TV
00:04:37Black actors, authors and executives breakthrough the color barrier and create integration with Alex Haley's Roots, Black Entertainment Television (BET) owner Robert L. Johnson, and TV talk show star, Oprah Winfrey.
4.) 2001 - Colin Powell Appointed Secretary of State
00:03:31Black General, Colin Powell, would become the first Black Secretary of State, followed in 2005 by Condoleeza Rice.
5.) 2004 - Neil deGrasse Tyson Becomes Astrophysics' Superstar
00:04:31Black scientist and physics' superstar, Neil deGrasse Tyson, stars in PBS series, Origins.
The Barack Obama EraRunning Time: 0:28:00

In the first two decades of the 21st Century a new Black identity was taking shape based not on slavery or the struggle for equal rights but on excellence, on African Americans’ growing role in American politics, on new forms of literature and on a rising Black entrepreneurial class that has found a home in Silicon Valley.

Chapter List
1.) 2008 - Barack Obama Wins Presidency
00:08:12Program Nine opens with Barack Obama’s historic rise to the American presidency.
2.) 2012 - Natasha Trethewey and the New Wave of Black Literature
00:04:33This program looks at new forms of Black literature reflecting a different Black-American identity taking shape in the 21st century.
3.) 2012 - Tristan Walker Opens Silicon Valley's Door To Blacks
00:03:34Black tech entrepreneur Tristan Walker paves the way for tech savvy Blacks in Silicon Valley.
4.) 2016 - Lonnie Bunch Opens National Museum of African American History and Culture
00:03:48Lonnie Bunch opened the doors of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a collection of nearly 37,000 objects to tell the story of Arican Americans.
5.) 2017 - Hidden Figures Highlights Black Women's Mathematical Genius
00:04:04The program ends with two stories recounting the enormous achievements and contributions Blacks have made to the nation.
Video Programs9
SubjectsHistory, American History, Social Studies, Minority Achievement
Supplemental Files16
Produced By Ambrose Video Publishing Inc./Centre Communications
Copyright ©2017 Ambrose Video Publishing Inc./Centre Communications
Grade Levels10th Grade through Post Secondary
Historical Speech - Aint I a Woman
Historical Speech - Martin Luther King Jr.s
Teacher Guide - Black Achievement
Historical Document - Trumans Executive Order Desegregating the Armed Forces
Historical Document - Virginia Slave Code 1705
Historical Document - Voting Rights Act of 1965
Historical Document - Supreme Courts Brown v. Board of Education
Historical Document - Supreme Courts Plessy v. Ferguson Decision
Historical Document - The Bill of Rights
Historical Document - Civil Rights Act of 1964
Historical Document - Missouri Compromise
Historical Document - Supreme Courts Dred Scott Decision
Black History Achievement Timeline
Blackline Master Quizzes
Historical Document - 13th, 14th And 15th Amendments
MARC Records for BLA
MARC records for the Full Series BLA, A History of Black Achievement in America