The Racial Mountain
Augusta Savage, Lift Every Voice and Sing, 1934











Transatlantic Slave Trade
1440 - 1883
  • At least 8 to 12.5 million Africans estimated to have been displaced to North and South America
  • "The earliest record of a black presence in the Global North dates to 1526, when a group of African captives was brought from Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) to coastal South Carolina or to Georgia's Sapelo Sound" (Farrington, 15).
  • About 20 Ndongans landed at Jamestown in 1619
  • In 1619 alone, 36 ships full of captives set out across the Atlantic
  • Over 2 million of those who were forced aboard ships in Africa died before seeing land again
Faith Ringgold, We Came to America, 1997











Tom Feelings, from The Middle Passage, 1995
Romare Bearden, Roots Odyssey, 1976











John T. Biggers, The Contribution of Negro Women in American Life and Education, 1953.
Oil on plaster, Houston, TX.












W. E. B. Du Bois, John Brown, 1909

How One Piece of Legislation Divided a Nation

Augustus Washington, John Brown, c. 1846 - 1847

David Bustill Bowser, John Brown, 1865











Civil War
1861 - 1865
  • Conflict between northern & southern states
    • Involved numerous disputes, although most of them centered on the issue of slavery (whether obvious, or not)
  • After election of Lincoln in 1861, seven states seceded from the United States: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Once war broke out, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina would also secede.
  • At least 623,000 killed in the war
    • About 1.2 million soldiers have killed in U.S. conflicts all together, with 644,000 in conflicts other than the Civil War
Black private in Union Army, Fort Benton, MO, no date.












William Wetmore Story, Cleopatra, 1869
Edmonia Lewis, The Death of Cleopatra, 1876











Edmonia Lewis, Forever Free, 1867

Edmonia Lewis, Hygeia, 1872











Meta Warric Fuller, Emancipation Proclamation, 1913. Harriet Tubman Park, Boston, MA.











Daniel Chester French, Africa, 1904

Meta Warric Fuller, Ethiopia Awakening, 1914











1865 - 1877
W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Reconsruction in America 1860-1880, 1935
  • 1862 - 1863 Emancipation Proclamation frees nearly 4 million enslaved people in southern states
    • 1862 thousands of enslaved people head to Union lines to fight with the Union Army
    • Over 200,000 Blacks would serve in the Union Army and Navy

Reconstruction Amendments:

  • 1865 13th Amendment abolishes slavery in the United States (except for prisoners)
  • 1868 14th Amendment establishes automatic citizenship for people born in the U.S. and equal civil rights to emancipated people
  • 1870 15th Amendment limits state and federal power to prevent citizens from voting

Presidential Reconstruction 1865 - 1866

    • Under President Andrew Johnson, southern states quickly introduced restrictive "black codes"

Radical Reconstruction 1867

    • Black Americans took up voting with enthusiasm, electing numerous Black representatives at the federal and state levels


Barry Lawrence, The First Colored Senator and Representatives in the 41st and 42nd Congress of the United States, 1872









Colored Conventions Project



D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, legislative scene, 1915