389 years ago…

389 years ago…

Posted on 05. Nov, 2008 by in government, history


Inspired by the genuine progress of this country, I created this typographic mashup of the history of slavery, racism, and the progress of African Americans.

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389 Years Of Progress

389 Years Of Progress

Please link to the actual post and not the image itself.  Thanks!

UPDATE: This has been created into a stunning 16” x 46” poster.

Click here to view or purchase the poster.



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  1. Nick Istre, November 5, 2008:

    Granted, he’s half African American, but that’s me being nit picky because I’m half Asian. Great mashup, though.

  2. Eva, November 5, 2008:

    i don’t very often comment here, but i remember that while you were making this i kept thinking ‘what an incredible idea’.. seeing it completed.. it’s definitely ‘wow’ worthy. soo much data.. and you always make such things have this ‘impact’.. great work darling.

  3. duston Norcross, November 6, 2008:

    What a knack for showing the pertinent info that the common public would never research on their own.
    You have enabled us to see the real timeline of the black movement in America. Kudos on such a job well done. You answer the questions that we all have but are too lazy to research. Thank you so much!

  4. John Furie Zacharias, November 6, 2008:

    Jess, I think you just invented the “timeline cloud.” Heh. Great work!

  5. Rumply, November 6, 2008:

    Forgot Gov. Doug Wilder, First African American governor ( I mean, if you are going to hit the first DNC chairman, you should at least mention the first Governor….)

  6. Jess, November 6, 2008:

    Yeah I missed a lot, but it was really only a survey of black history, I will leave the details to others. You’re right though, I don’t know how Doug Wilder slipped though the cracks though.

  7. Jason, November 6, 2008:

    Not trying to be a spelling nazi, but you misspelled declares at “54 years ago”.

    I loved the picture, I never knew alot of that stuff.

  8. Jess, November 6, 2008:


    Thanks, I crowdsource my spelling. Fixed it!

  9. eh?, November 6, 2008:

    Why does EVERYONE use ‘african american’ to depict a skin color?! ‘african american’ doesnt ALWAYS have to be dark-skinned. My family happens to be from Africa and i was born in America and I’m very much ‘white’. Do I need to change my skin color or something?!

  10. Al, November 6, 2008:

    138 years ago, black MEN were given the right to vote – it would not be until 1920 that the 19th amendment to the constitution was ratified and women could vote.

  11. Jess, November 6, 2008:

    @ Al

    Very true. I updated the graphic. It is quite shameful that it took another half century to extend that right to women.

  12. Marc Beharry, November 6, 2008:

    Thats a really inspiring one. Stumbled!

  13. Eitan, November 7, 2008:

    This is absolutely gorgeous. Mind if I ask what font you used?

  14. Valintin, November 7, 2008:

    And oddly 70% of African American voters choose separate but equal by voting for Proposition 8 in California.

    With any sense of history, in a state where we could not even have interracial marriages until 1959, you’d think the percentage would not be so high.

  15. Jerome, November 7, 2008:

    Religion and Christianity breed fear. Also remember, that the true pioneers of this country never waited for someone to say yes. They just did what they knew was right in their hearts.

    Also, Obama is the first recognized Black president. Check Jackson, Coolidge and Lincoln.

    Great typograhic piece on the history of it all

  16. joe, November 7, 2008:

    Hi, t
    This is awesome. I think it would have even more impact with some dates to help anchor perceptions, rather than just “XX years ago”. Maybe it’s just me, but “389 years ago” doesn’t immediately conjure up the point in history when this event occurred – 1619, and it also suffers from the fact that it will no longer be accurate come next year. Both of these issues could be eliminated by alternating the “years ago” descriptor with the actual year.

    I guess that’s all a bit nit-picky, but I wouldn’t have bothered commenting if I didn’t really like it to begin with!

  17. Andrew, November 7, 2008:

    wow very few things have had this kind of effect on me. I applaud you this is amazing and really puts things into perspective.

  18. suede, November 7, 2008:

    On Nov 4th 2008, 70% of Blacks in California decide to vote for Proposition 8. which unfairly denies marriage rights to another minority.

    Did 389 years of injustice not teach you anything ?

  19. Wren, November 7, 2008:

    This made me tear up. What a wonderful way to trace history.

  20. tyler k. rauman, November 7, 2008:

    It is amazing to read that and feel the progress speed up faster and faster as it goes.
    It gives me hope about where our common culture is headed. I hope that hate and discrimination will be pushed to marginal fringe populations in our lifetime.

  21. SJS, November 7, 2008:

    You forgot about the Irish slaves.

  22. Leon Roy, November 7, 2008:

    Respect, beautiful work.

  23. Judd Hynes, November 7, 2008:

    Slavery isn’t history!

    Contrary to popular belief, slavery didn’t end with Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Experts estimate that today there are 27 million people enslaved around the world. It’s happening in countries on all six inhabited continents. And yes, that includes the United States. The CIA estimates 14,500 to 17,000 victims are trafficked into the “Land of the Free” every year.


  24. asdfasdf, November 7, 2008:

    great work!

    Obama is our first multiracial president.

    It would help everyone a lot to learn about the “one drop rule” and how it affects our concept of race.

  25. Ryan K from Going Carless, November 7, 2008:

    Someone may have said this, but I would go back and change the amount of years to the dates and years. That will give this a longer shelf life. Next year all of your years will be wrong!

  26. steve, November 7, 2008:

    Colin Powell was made National Security Adviser under Ronald Reagan 21 years ago. Condi was not the first.

  27. Bobby, November 7, 2008:

    It’s worth pointing out that yes, while great progress has been made on the part of “African Americans” or better yet, Americans of color, the progress made by white/caucasian Americans is equally profound.

    Changing attitudes of tolerance, acceptance, and equality, as put forward by African Americans, were listened to, evaluated, and accepted by many not in their situation, and judged corrected. I think that common decency eventually overrides culturally-accepted biases, and this has become an example of that.

    Let’s not forget that a vast number of these Americans (including myself) voted for Obama in the hope of a world in which race is immaterial.

    I think that ALL Americans should share in this as a victory for common human decency, compassion, and fairness.

  28. Andrew, November 7, 2008:

    This is a great piece of work…After reading all that, the last part seriously gave me chills to read, it was a great feeling. Progress indeed, I believe that Obama can truly turn this country around and bring respect to its name for the first time in over 60 years.

  29. Bryan H, November 7, 2008:

    The thing that struck me the most is exactly how long its been and how little has changed. In our supposed age of enlightenment, its considered an “amazing” thing that an african american has been elected president, that ANYONE other than an old caucasian male has been elected as president. So many other countries have had women, minorities as thier leaders it really makes you wonder just how “advanced” the good ole US of A is. Maybe its time to stop calling europe the old country and adopting the term for america, home of the hopelessly old ideas.

  30. malibar, November 7, 2008:

    Max Robinson anchored ABC World News Tonight starting in 1978, 30 years ago, being the first african american network news anchor.

  31. BC, November 7, 2008:

    Ok, Why do we have to make a big deal about the color of his skin? To me this is not progress. Why can we not elect an AMERICAN as President?

    If you want progress DEMAND that you be called AMERICANS and not something separate. AFRICAN-AMERICAN to me says you are different. I want to be called an AMERICAN citizen NOT AFRICAN-AMERICAN citizen. Or anything else.

    That is progress.

  32. Jim March, November 7, 2008:

    I find it VERY interesting what’s left out of this list of key events in black history.

    The Colfax Massacre of 1873 (Louisiana) and the US Supreme Court decision in US v. Cruikshank (1875 case, final decision handed down in 1876).

    Short form: blacks in Colfax tried to vote under the new 15th Amendment, and lined up outside the courthouse. A white mob led by local police first disarmed them, then launched three days of riot and murder, culminating in burning down the “corrupted” courthouse where blacks had tried to vote.

    US troops restored order. Federal prosecutors charged 60 rioters with Federal civil rights violations under the 14th Amendment, specifically the right to peaceful assembly at the courthouse (1st Amendment), right to arms (2nd Amendment) and right to vote (15th).

    The US Supreme Court, as part of a pattern of distaste for the 14th Amendment, claimed that civil rights protections resided with the states only, and freed all 60 rioters.

    This is the case that destroyed reconstruction.

    Why skip it? Why isn’t it talked about?

    Because as late as three months ago, lawyers for Alameda County California (where the city of Oakland is) cited Cruikshank as authority for violations of the 2nd Amendment by state and local governments. Cruikshank is TO THIS DAY a cornerstone of all gun control laws at a state or local level, the fig leaf under which those authorities ignore the 2nd Amendment.

    There is hope. The Heller decision cited with approval the 2008 book “The Day Freedom Died” by Charles Lane documenting the Colefax/Cruikshank events. In that book, “the day freedom died” is the day the 14th Amendment was functionally destroyed for generations by the Cruikshank court.

    In citing it, the US Supreme Court was opening up to their own racist past to a greater degree than ever before.

    Personal self defense was the most important civil right stripped from blacks. At this point, black culture is so ingrained with the idea that self defense is evil that too many support that last set of chains they wear. It’s no coincidence that the places in the US with the highest black populations have the heaviest gun control (Chicago, WashDC, NYC, Los Angeles, etc). but it’s the gun control that preceded the violence, not gun control as a response to violence. Gun control was part and parcel of Jim Crow.

    To this day, access to a permit to carry a concealed weapon is discretionary on the part of law enforcement in California, New York, New Jersey, Mass. and a few other states. In all of them, legal access to self defense is heavily restricted along the lines of race and gender.

    The big question is, will Obama ever see it, or will he continue to blame objects for a level of cultural violence unacceptable within certain inner-city subcultures?

  33. John Furie Zacharias, November 7, 2008:

    I had a feeling people might nit-pick spelling or omissions. Nonetheless, Jess, I still think your timeline cloud rawks 😉

    The first time I saw it here, it really made me think about the election from another perspective besides “I’m just happy Bush/Cheney are leaving soon.”

    Thanks again for your work!

  34. Moses, November 7, 2008:

    I love the people who posted after the timeline. They were so on point. If you think this changes anything your wrong. Obama being elected is EPIC in the united states for sure, but you really really really really need to realize that you are winith a country that leads its people to believe they are the greatest, when infact we still have racism, we are STILL using religion to base our laws of human rights on even though church and state is suppose to be seperated and we STILL dont have a clue whats going on in the government due to the fact that we are not uniting to create something greater than democracy. We are a country where the white (your families if your white) were absolutly DEAD wrong!!!! You need to realize this and not listen to what they tell you because they were brought up by what was accepted in their parents generation which was so ass backwards its embarassing to me when i learn about these people. We need to be reborn into a system of new laws and new policies where control and fear are not used to seperate us from one another. In my opinion we are to deep in our ancestory where i cannot get enough people to change of free will. So the change needs to come from something greater something you can FEEL. You better believe i will do everything in my power to make sure Americans hit rock bottom in my lifetime because once we do hit this ultimate level we will finally be free.

  35. Nanya, November 7, 2008:

    Thanks for a job well done. I know that it is virtually impossible to put in all the pertinent
    information that lead up to this important milestone in Black history but you have done a very admirable job. Perhaps some of those who are suggesting some insertions could do their own mock-ups and send it to you for possible inclusion, if that is what you want (thinking of one in particular that suggested dates).
    Again you deserve a big thank you.

  36. Mark, November 7, 2008:

    Yep….people were bad…people are bad…not as many free blacks owning slaves as free whites owning blacks…even fewer free blacks owning indentured whites…lots of horrible people …yesterday, today and tomorrow….but you are correct…Progress and brother/sisterhood has and will continue here faster than almost anyplace else…. or at any time in the past….(.People have never been cheaper to buy)

  37. Ellis, November 7, 2008:

    Is there any way to purchase this? It truly amazed me, and has had the same effect on some of the teachers and students here where I teach high school. Thank you.

  38. Greg Battle, November 7, 2008:

    Anyone clinging to the idea that Barack Obama is only “half black” needs to really restudy their American history carefully, about forced miscegenation via rape, the audacity of inhumanity of defining the Negro as 3/5 a man, Jim and Jane Crow laws systematically defining separate but equal and what precisely “black” is, down to having names for what every percentage of “black blood” made you. By every historical definition, and by definition, I mean those written and legislated by the American white majority throughout our history, Obama would be known as a black man.

    The truth is, though Obama is black, his African ancestry is not part of America’s distinct and ugly past. So, to call it “progress” that a biracial child whose parents and ancestors came to America of their own volition is to ignore the reality of how that ugliness and the structural hegemony still permeates our culture. The plight of the American Negro is as unique as America itself.

    I respect and celebrate the milestone, but I shake my head at anyone who thinks we are entering some post-racial or even post-racist era.

  39. Danieleran, November 7, 2008:

    THIS YEAR blacks in CALIFORNIA voted
    overwhelmingly BY 70% to take AWAY the
    CIVIL RIGHTS from gays of all COLORS who
    want to marry. Just because they CAN.

    After coming so FAR, they have embarrassed
    those who fought for the DREAM of equality.

  40. Husein Najmi, November 7, 2008:

    Will start an email chain …

  41. MMurray, November 7, 2008:

    This is really great. I have to point out, however, that Max Robinson was actually the first Black anchor on a network news program–in 1969.

    And in 1978 he joined ABC’s “World News Tonight” as a cohost (opposite Peter Jennings at their London desk, I believe?). He was actually a role model for Bryant Gumble.

    This is not a criticism. I would just hate for this great man not to be recognized.

  42. mikeyd, November 7, 2008:

    What about Asian slavery and and Asian congressmen and an Asian president? You don’t see us complaining.

  43. SouthernBelle, November 7, 2008:

    I think this is a great piece of work, typographically and in terms of the points included.

    Chills down my spine reading some of these entries.

    Good on you for creating it!

    *from an expat Aussie living in the deep South of the USA who voted for Obama!*

  44. Angie, November 7, 2008:

    I saw a comment up top that Obama is only half black. I’d just like to say that almost absolutely no ‘black’ person is all black. And it’s because of some of the things listed here.

  45. Moe, November 7, 2008:

    I’d love to re-typeset this professionally using better type. Would you share the vector file?

  46. Mark, November 7, 2008:

    2 people starve to death each second….someone under five and someone older….IT’S ABOUT 60 MILLION a year….I know it’s comparing apples to oranges …How many people were slaves (or died in the passage) coming to North America?…How many to South America? The three hundred year history………………………….

  47. Burt, November 7, 2008:

    Did I miss something ? Clarence Thomas for Supreme Court ?? since October 1991.

  48. siftee, November 7, 2008:

    probably the biggest cocksucking thing i have ever seen… bringing race to a nonrace discussion is just racist

    ps, yr graphic design skills suck, queer

  49. Infideluxe, November 7, 2008:

    Very nicely done. Excellent work.
    One very minor error I noticed is that you’ve spelled “Toni Morrison” with three r’s. That I found the error at all speaks to how engaging the piece is overall. Congratulations. Kudos!

  50. TR Locke, November 7, 2008:

    Very real.

    Missed the first black mayor of Cleveland though. One year sooner–1977.

    Wouldn’t push the point except it’s my hometown.


  51. C., November 7, 2008:

    How come no one mentions the fact that the Irish were the first slaves in this country. All we can talk about are blacks but they weren’t the first and most never came here. Most went to the caribbean.

  52. Yaakov Binyamin, November 8, 2008:

    The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, 44 years ago (not 51).

    Well done otherwise – thank you!

  53. Jeff, November 8, 2008:

    I’d say you needed to name the base ball player. I don’t feel like Rise & Powel deserve much mention, although Rice does if your cross referencing blank’s & women’s rights.

    Obama is an “African” American because his father was an African immigrant. African immigrants are the highest performing minority in the U.S., above even Asians. It’s great if African American youth see him as a role model, but his success doesn’t speak about the failures within the African American culture. He’s just another successful child of a successful immigrant.

  54. Pirx, November 8, 2008:

    I was going to protest that Quakers and Mennonites were two different groups, from different traditions. But research shows me that “The manuscript of the first protest against slavery in North America — written in Germantown in 1688 by a group that included Quakers and former Mennonites . . .” So maybe calling them “Mennonite Quakers” is OK?

  55. Mister X, November 8, 2008:

    Pity you forgot Black Owned Radio Stations, as they played a role in your time line.


  56. Joe Blogginton, November 8, 2008:

    Obama’s about as “black” as Larry Bird…

  57. Jerry, November 8, 2008:

    Very nice, but I believe the LA riots of 1992 belong in there, too.

  58. me, November 8, 2008:

    I agree, you need the Rodney King riots and Oprah in here. Nice work tho.

  59. Emily, November 8, 2008:

    I really like this! One question/nitpick: you say that 320 years ago, “Mennonite Quakers” signed an anti-slavery resolution. I’ve never heard of a Mennonite Quaker group; the two denominations are historically pretty different, despite a common commitment to social justice. Did you mean “Mennonites and Quakers”, or is there a group I’ve never heard of (which would be really cool!)? Thanks!

  60. Moka, November 8, 2008:

    This is wonderful…so delighted that you took the time to timeline everything…I am appalled at those who have problems with specific events you may have omitted (sans the date thing–that would make it timeless)…guess some folks have to be negative no matter how good something may be…This would be great in poster form…my friends and I have commented how great this would look on our wall.

  61. Steven, November 8, 2008:

    Progress has been made…but so much farther to go.

  62. Moka, November 8, 2008:

    Okay I just had to make reference to this comment…althought this individual is entitled to his/her ideals…

    (It’s worth pointing out that yes, while great progress has been made on the part of “African Americans” or better yet, Americans of color, the progress made by white/caucasian Americans is equally profound.)

    Umm, yes progress, 389 yrs worth…are you aware that from at least half the timeline we were considered property/a less than people with no voice…so that’s why this current event along with all our other milestones are of such importance…umm the progress made by white/caucasion americans—who the hell cares, you have had every opportunity in the world to do as you wanted (when was your enslavement, when was your voice–heck “YOU HAD A VOICE”—give me a break…

  63. suzanne, November 8, 2008:

    Excellent graphic.

    If I may be so bold to respond to the commenters who lack reading comprehension and critical thinking:

    Anyone who whines “why is everyone talking about The Blacks? What about (insert topic of interest)??”

    You are free to make your own poster detailing the history of Irish slaves/slaves in other countries/Asian slaves/modern day slaves/history of sparkling unicorns/etc. Please go do that instead of whining that someone else’s art doesn’t have something you want in it.

  64. jay, November 8, 2008:

    Is he half African American? He is half Kenyan and half European American. And pretty much culturally european american in upbringing.

    It might be stated that he isn’t even culturaly what we traditionally perceive as african american.

    Just my observation.

  65. anthony, November 8, 2008:

    I mean he is pretty black to me..he has numerous half siblings…he doesnt know his father….and his moms was his whole world…that sounds like something right out of the black experience in america. it sounds like my experience so to say he is not black is wrong in actuality he is the epitome of what african american means, so that not black notion should be thrown away

  66. B & M Barros, November 8, 2008:

    good job!

    Inetersting timeline – Obama has the “right mix” for us all.

    Keep the faith. and many blessings to our new president.

  67. Fishmonkey, November 9, 2008:

    And now that black ppl finally got some equality, they decide to punk gay couples and vote against them getting it.

    Now that’s progress and history … reserved for black folks only.

  68. Jordan, November 9, 2008:

    Nice job, but uhm… couple of things this typo mashup fails to mention:
    First, Obama is half white, or European-American and
    Second, He’s not a descendant from a long line of slaves! His father was a Kenyan student! Sooo… I don’t think his election will just elegantly erase those 389 years from you consciousness as you obviously wish. :)) Though I’d call it baby steps :))

  69. Vhan Wolfe, November 9, 2008:

    Ok you are wronge about the whole slavery thing, & to correct you its been 492 years since africans have been slaves. Its started because of Sugar. http://www.newint.org/issue363/slave.htm .

    Drugs started slavery, that & being not as progressed as the Europeans where. Tobacco kept it going which is where your date comes out. But there is more a past to it, fyi.

    Even further into the past about slavery & then you got some real reasons people are enslaved. Race is not an issue, or at least the whole/only reason.

  70. Egg, November 9, 2008:

    Great Job!
    Quick comment.

    In Ireland when we got our first Female President, (for whom I voted I should add) it was a fantastic thing right up until she made her first speech in which she said that it was a fantastic day for “Mna Na Eirinn” the women of Ireland.

    As a male and a supporter I felt really let down as I thought it was a great day for ALL of the people of Ireland!

    I began to wonder if her intention was to only be the President for the women of Ireland!

  71. Paradise Africa, November 9, 2008:

    In 52 days this poster will be more wrong than it already is

  72. a communist, November 9, 2008:

    Obama becoming the figure head of the American capitalist state isn’t progress. Its downright reactionary, the color of an imperialist’s skin doesn’t change the fact that hes an imperialist. Fuck the American ruling class and their “political” shenanigans. Fuck em.

  73. Luca, November 10, 2008:


  74. Other, November 10, 2008:

    All of us are black. All of us are white. Very few of us can claim to be ALL one “race.”

    Go to http://www.otherawarenessproject.com/

  75. Robert Browning, November 10, 2008:

    I’d like to add one historical nugget to this piece, and that would be the raid at Harpers Ferry, Va in 1859 by one John Brown. His actions are generally viewed as the seeds of the Civil War, and many view him as the catalyst of the movement that would ultimately end the institution of slavery.

  76. nurangiz, November 10, 2008:

    @ siftee: thou you could have put your thoughts in a nicer way, you are not entirely wrong to my mind. If we attempt to hail this election as a show of progress, tolerance and equality, why bring Obama’s race up so often?? I think the word AMERICAN in “African American” should mean more if we are talking about a president who will unite the nation.
    On the other hand, very nice historical mashup of a true progress that by no means should be discredited or forgotten…

  77. V, November 10, 2008:

    good post. was surprised to find that civil liberty was eased only 5 decades ago. quite a fast growth for Obama.


  78. zoila, November 10, 2008:

    I would love to purchase a poster like this. Is this in the works?


  79. Chik, November 10, 2008:

    Great! Wonderful piece put together. Those days can’t be forgortten. However, this is the time for unity. And that’s why God send ” The destiny child” Obama to unite and heal our wounds. Let peace reign.

  80. Ann, November 10, 2008:

    Please..This would be a wonderful tool for teaching African American History…Please publish a poster

  81. Fed-Up, November 10, 2008:

    hes only half-black…so dont get all worked up.

    Im glad to see the world has no problem with a (half) black man running the country..but i do have a problem with everyone who feels they are celebrating diversity by making it a big deal…that’s just as racist as anything else.

  82. Andrew, November 11, 2008:

    I guess he’s half African, but it’s not like his ancestors were slaves, so it doesn’t really count. Most real African-Americans in the US are still retards. By real I mean those whose forefathers were slaves, who like rap music, and who spend every paycheck buying clothes and jewelry. If one of them got elected president then I guess you could say that an African-American got elected president, but that’s also the day I take my own life.

  83. mikk, November 11, 2008:

    If you do the math, and it has been done, Obama is only 6.25% black…

  84. Wynn, November 11, 2008:

    Cracking poster!

  85. Klimpton, November 11, 2008:

    The impact of the design really helps bring home the message. Just a couple comments:

    1. Getting the facts right is important and I hope you can correct the omissions and errors mentioned. This will become a “source” for people and having it accurate matters.

    2. Race isn’t a biological concept but sociological, which makes this powerful and connects Obama to this history. While the poster presents a history of events and the progress of slavery, the underlying message to me is the history of intolerance and hate by the dominant culture.

    3. The date versus years thing. I like the years BUT to keep it relevant you should anchor Obama’s election with the year as in “November 4, 2008”

    Nice work

  86. Terry N. Depyrates, November 11, 2008:

    I wore my tsitsis during the election so that I would ensure the election of a fringe group and would just be stringing along during the Roper poll.

    Paul Gotskind was the biggest misbehaver in my 4th grade class. Where is he now? Chicago?

  87. Paul Gotskind, November 11, 2008:

    I stole the money from my mom’s purse so I could buy the set of cowboy cap pistols and holsters that were so neat. My mom came into the classroom, picked up the pistol set and whupped me over the head with them. Mrs. Botalico said nothing while I was abused like that. Now I live in the Chicago area and hate myself and Zelick Shapiro.

  88. Prepuce P. Schlongg, November 11, 2008:

    Vuntz I had a kendy store
    Bizniss vas so bad
    I asked mein vife vat to do
    And dis is vat she said:
    Take yourself some kerosene
    Pour it on de floor
    Take a match
    Give a scratch
    No more kendy store, HEY!

  89. Sarah Palin, November 11, 2008:

    If you think I’m an ill-educated, incurious, non-reading, ill-informed, unqualified woman and ought never to be elected to any job anywhere at any time, please email me at

  90. Hope for Tomorrow, November 11, 2008:

    I am so proud to be a part of this history. We have made progress to a great future, but we must realize that we are not there yet. My grandmother still uses horrible words for people different than her. My friends do not always receive the same respect that I do. We have made a tremendous step, but the finish line is still ahead of us.

  91. Marty, November 11, 2008:

    Yeah, but gay people still have religious groups using their influence to get amendments made to discriminate against them for basic rights such as MARRIAGE or EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION.

    Still more work has to be done.

  92. Janette, November 11, 2008:

    Very cool. I also like how you showed the good and the bad. Steps forward are often followed by backlash. e.g. young student being jumped on election night, middle school students being disciplined for saying ‘Obama’.

    Yeah, I looked up the syphilis experiment… mortified. Never heard about that one.

    I hope that one day people will understand what equal opportunity and equal protection means.

    –Fight the good fight.
    Love one another.


  93. VisiAp, November 11, 2008:

    While this is a good idea, I really think it has been done before. It isn’t visually appealing. Clean it up a bit by rearranging some things to make the flow nicer, you have a lot of empty space and abrupt text size changes that don’t make sense. Change the “blah blah years ago” to actual, accurate dates and you might have a decent and profitable poster on your hands.

  94. david, November 11, 2008:

    James Byrd, Jr. was not lynched, in fact it was much more horrible. He was tied to the back of a car and dragged to his death. I’m only saying this because this memory should never be forgotten or rewritten.

  95. dismutased, November 11, 2008:

    Wow, just wow. How inspiring. Thanks for putting it all into perspective. Great job.

  96. m, November 11, 2008:

    I think this is very effective. One correction: Brown v. Bd of Ed., the murder of Emmitt Till, and Rosa Parks’ arrest on the bus did not happen in the same year. Brown was 1954 — the first court ruling, holding that school segregation violated the constituion. The second Brown ruling in 1955 was the remedial order requiring that school districts only needed to act “with all deliberate speed,” which was interpreted to allow lengthy delay. Till’s murder and the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott were in 1955. Since you refer to the 1954 Brown ruling, the poster should say that Till’s murder and Rosa Parks’ action came the year after.

  97. tasha, November 11, 2008:

    you did awesome, be proud take a bow.. for all the haters who are hating on your vision and therefore needed to add their two cents on what was wrong or missing here are some additional facts that are a part of history

    my daughter was born on Dec 7
    i adopted 5 african american children on June 15 2003
    Tasha was the first african american in her sibling group to go to college

    oh and in 1980 the first african american got a pedicure from an Asian American on 69th street in Philadelphia…

    I mean really, plenty of stuff (history) has happened, i failedto see the excerpt in which you promised or assumed to record everything that has ever happen that was every significant to anyone who ever read this ever…most cities has had a first African American something and if not is coming.
    Make your own wallstat if you have so many ideas be creative.

    oh and to Andrew….you promise? you know the taking your own life thing…you promise i mean swear to God, hope I die stick a needle in your eye pinky promise? Cause I dare you, I double dare you to just believe for one minute that maybe… just maybe… President Obama’s father’s history continues some slavery that occured in Africa, you know there were slaves there too…. and some American slaves actually went back to Africa…you know when they didn’t get the 40 acres and a mule as promised

    much love…Great job no hate at all

  98. zuwena, November 12, 2008:

    This is quite a remarkable job. I was disappointed, however, to see no mention of dred scott or the dred scott decision by the supreme court. Justice Taney’s decision very significant in continuing the perpetuation of slavery into the “new” territories.

  99. Randall, November 12, 2008:

    Maybe we will all wake up tomorrow and a new line will have been written. One day ago all African Americans returned to Africa. If you put anything in front of American you just need to go to the country you think comes first. Funny that most of them think Africa is a country, not a clue that it is a CONTINENT.

  100. Cliff, November 12, 2008:

    Hey, this is a great time line you put together. I hope teachers see this get one and post it in there classrooms all over america progress has been made.

  101. bob, November 12, 2008:

    I hope african-americans can move on now and get over their slave mentality,plenty of europeans and others were treated no better than slaves and we don`t go on about it all the time,remember it was a tiny minority who owned slaves.

  102. bob, November 12, 2008:

    i also think it would be great for all africans to be returned to their native continent as they`ll be bitching wherever they are anyway,let them sort out africa before it implodes,as far as i know most whites have left the continent at this stage so any progress can be shown to be achieved by the indiginous folk.in london about 90% of crime is committed by blaks,very few whites are rascist even though they have good reason to be.btw i`m a traveller so i know what i`m saying

  103. marta, November 12, 2008:

    Well gee Bob,
    You being the white traveller and all, I suggest you board the first jet you see come by, and take a flying fuck.

  104. bob, November 12, 2008:

    ok marta i`ll pick u up on the way

  105. talulah, November 12, 2008:

    And on the same day that a majority of Californians voted to elect Obama as our next president, the majority of voting African Americans in California voted Yes on Prop 8 and stripped gays of their civil right to be married. Isn’t it ironic.
    How many years ago was it that the last state made it legal for an African American and an Anglo to be married? Could we have that quickly forgotten?
    Please remember, we are all equal regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation. And we all can love and experience heartache just as deeply.

  106. mark, November 12, 2008:

    Well over 90 percent of slaves from Africa were imported into the Caribbean and South America.
    Africans sold by African slave owners to slave traders.

    Slaves arrived in SPANISH Florida at least a century before 1619.

    Slavery is older than the first human records.

    Slavery is virtually a universal institution that continues TO THIS DAY.

    No one would argue that this was a sad horrible chapter in US history. However, I didn’t want any impressionable minds to think that 389 years ago, on American shores, slavery began.

    The author (and the quirky font poster) fails to provide any historical record to clarify that.

  107. Cindy Torrey, November 12, 2008:

    Awesome work here, excellent job. I honestly didn’t know things were so lousy for African-Americans so recently. When I came to the part about Bryant Gumbel I was really shocked that I was alive at that time. When I think of things like slavery they seem so abstract and like they happened eons ago. It is really surprising that it took people so long to figure out that the only difference between African-Americans and Americans of European descent is a slight variation of pigmentation. Thank you so much for creating this, I, and apparently many others really appreciate your time and effort. Obama for peace!

  108. marta, November 13, 2008:

    AW no thanks Bobby, that is a ride for special people like you, thanks any way.

  109. Pamela Taylor, November 13, 2008:

    I think this is a very wonderful writing and
    I hope there will be many many many comments on this. This is exquisite and so
    much well written. I love it.

  110. Stacey, November 13, 2008:

    For the people claiming (complaining) that obama is only “X”% black… what makes him black isn’t genetics, it is that in this culture he is treated black.

    Race is cultural. Genetics has very little to do with how people are treated. Also, black people were not only enslaved- if that were the case they probably would be ‘over it’ by now. They were de-humanized and treated as less than slaves (slaves were treated as people in most cultures, and in all major historical cultures- until the colonization of America).

    Until you experience someone else’s life, you cannot accurately judge. Yes, this means that, since you cannot actually do so, you cannot judge.
    Closed-minded comments like the ones I am responding to are a sign of ignorance. Become educated for yourself, learn some history, and actually talk to the people you are making blanket statements about.
    Yes, there are a lot of ‘rapper’ and ‘gangsta’ images in the media, but just as most white christians aren’t redneck savage imbiciles, maybe most american blacks aren’t ‘ganstas’.

    Judging an entire people based on media stereotypes and cultural myopia simply reflects your own lack of humanity, not those you stereotype.

    Great piece of art, BTW. I made something similar based on how thoughts about cultural subjects change through time. You can’t include everything, and your representation is a great start to get people thinking.


  111. joehammer, November 13, 2008:

    I don’t know if he’s half-black, fully-black or whatever. He’s 100% American and ours to cherish. He’s our President (elect) and that’s all that matters. Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we’re free at last!!!

  112. bob, November 13, 2008:

    i shouldn`t have to feel guilt for something neither i nor my ancestors did. Obama isn`t black and he never experienced the kind of racism that i have,hes had the best of both worlds maybe if more black males took responsibility for their actions all y`all wouldn`t be in such a mess,children do need fathers present for their emotional development and for societys sake and obama was lucky he had caring grandparents to look after him.peace

  113. bob, November 13, 2008:

    i live in a predominatly black area and all white folk who can afford to have left,we`ve all been mugged attacked and so on this is the black culture i see,if this was happening to black folks by whites it`d be all over the news and the national guard would be brought in to stop the racism but as we`re white it cant be racially motivated eh?i really pray that seeing what obama has achieved may motivate these thugs that more can be achieved in life,btw i live in north london and i blame the state of our area on the labour partys unrestricted immigration policy.

  114. Commo N. Sense, November 13, 2008:

    He is not black. Just like I’m not Irish. I’m a mix like EVERYONE else. If I was elected President they wouldn’t call me the 5th Irish president. People calling other people racist when they are racist themselves. Let’s hope he doesn’t screw things up.

  115. wayne, November 13, 2008:

    we as a people have definately made history, this will be “HIS STORY”, so lets not allow the unbelievers to make a mockery of our progress.

  116. Joel, November 14, 2008:

    No timeline stamp about O.J.? Most blacks seem to think that this was a “great” moment in history.


    Good luck Barack. You will need it.

  117. Brenda T, November 14, 2008:

    Isn’t it funny how before if one had just one drop of black blood one was considered Black. Now that President Obama has been elected he is bi-racial. I suspect that he will be bi-racial until he “messes up”, only then will he be all Black or African American. God bless him and be with him always.

  118. bob, November 14, 2008:

    the only country in africa thats financially better off since independence is the evil state of south africa ,but even they have benn steadily going down the plughole since the corrupt anc have taken power ,vive black power

  119. herbieherb, November 14, 2008:

    very good we need more information and keep it coming .

  120. Squid P, November 14, 2008:

    That is a lot of work you did to perpetuate racism. I’ve never met an American slave or slave owner, they are long gone. We will never be able to achieve equality when people continue to single out others based solely on the color of their skin (for bad or good reasons). Knock it off, racists!!!!

  121. ELLIOTT NICHOLS, November 14, 2008:


  122. Jason Smith, November 14, 2008:

    I find it interesting that some people still complain constantly about racism. Most of my friends are Jewish and I have never heard one of them complaining about it. Not only where they enslaved for hundreds if not thousands of years, but many millions were killed in the Holocaust. What did they do? They rose above the pettiness, kept their culture and religion fully alive, and all without acting like Billy stole Johnny’s milk at the lunchroom. Suck it up, act like adults, and racism will disappear.

  123. Chip, November 14, 2008:

    It appears the oppresses have become the oppressors with the way that african americans voted for Prop 8 in california. Seriously, What the fuck? How can you fight for civil rights for so long and then deny somebody different than you the same civil rights.

  124. Michelene E., November 14, 2008:

    Great job!!!!!!! I commend you for your obvious hard work and dedication. I’m sure you must have put in countless hours with this creation. Keep up the good work and be Encouraged!

  125. Donna Wood, November 15, 2008:

    This is totally amazing to me! I pray we move forward, I never knew white privileges until it was brought to my attention everything I take for granted. I am grateful for everyone who has helped educate me since our schools seemed to have sugar coated our history. I want to see MORE education and LESS hatred, and ignorance!

  126. Paul Reading, November 15, 2008:

    Listen to you all bitchin at each other!!!
    Slavery here slavery there.
    Dont forget the county you call great was taken by force, and the only real Americans, the indians, were massacred, and they are still by far worse off than the blacks.
    Even if Obama isn´t white who gives a shit, he´s a politician which makes him dangerous.
    I personally don´t trust him one bit, he´s changed his views to many times, and only tells the “people” what they want to hear, and you idiots fall for it, long live America *laugh*

  127. Ali, November 15, 2008:

    What NeXt??? Are The Indians Coming?

  128. Daniel, November 15, 2008:

    I don’t get it isn’t Barrack Obama’s father from Kenya. So he is not of the ethnicity that arrived to American hundredth of years ago so really he is not African-American, just African.

  129. bianca, November 15, 2008:

    was about time!!

  130. JuJuBead, November 15, 2008:

    Thanks so much. you can truly tell you’ve done something amazing if you have many different sides all competing to get their opinions out for you to hear. I say congrats. If you didn’t hit a chord, you wouldn’t have heard a thing from any of us.

    ps… the communist statement is by far the most unique and got a little giggle out of me.

  131. Heather G., November 15, 2008:

    Great work. This obviously took a lot of time and research and energy — thanks for the concise time line. Interesting, and easy to read. As someone else commented, I like that you are able to visually portray how progress has “sped up” in recent years. Nice job.You got a lot of people thinking!

    And those of you commenting on what happened with Prop 8, and what a huge step back it was, you’re absolutely correct. We are making progress but this reverses some of it… civil rights are civil rights, and EVERY one is entitled to them.

  132. Tom, November 15, 2008:

    You forgot to mention that Massachusetts was the first state to abolish slavery in 1783.

  133. Nex Brittington/Cavalcanti, November 15, 2008:

    I truly enjoyed reading it, for it was liberation experiance. I hope you do something like this again for it was very well thought out
    Nex Cavalcanti

  134. Carole L. Battle, November 16, 2008:

    This is great, but Carl Stokes, Cleveland Ohio was the first African-American mayor

  135. Pat, November 16, 2008:

    just goes to show how far America has come towards race relations. we, as a nation, have finally grown up. race should not be an issue any more. let it go now. granted there are white supremists out there, but there are also black supremists. racism has no boundaries. but the majority of us know it is wrong.

  136. Gloria Dianne, November 16, 2008:

    This was inspiring. (And I am a white woman and a passionate No on 8 advocate.) I wanted to comment on some of the negative comments that have been made here (ignoring the mindless racist attacks as they deserve). It is terrible that so many people–white, black, and other races–voted to take away gay people’s rights, but that issue isn’t relevant to this timeline. Also, since being even partially black has always been counted “against” people in the US, and laws once calculated down to the fraction the amount of African blood a person could have to be counted as “Negro,” I hardly think it is wrong to include people like Tiger Woods and Obama here. If I have a quibble, it would be the way Thurgood Marshall is presented. The first black Supreme Court justice (thank god that wasn’t Thomas!!!) wasn’t a milestone just because of race, he was a profoundly brilliant and influential man. I think he deserves huge block letters. Read a biography of him–even if it is just a short one. This man was a real hero. I think he was one of the greatest figures in twentieth century American history–and I am not alone in this.

  137. mander dander, November 16, 2008:

    well – the idea is/was amazing and well produced – It is certainly a piece of art, and as such really should not be judged in terms of what another feels “should have” been included . . . this is an artistic depiction of a historical theme, not a blow-by-blow account of every step of the black-american experience. AND – the desire to catagorize a culture by calling every black person “african-american” seems odd to me because many black americans have no african heritage in their history. Great message – thanks!

  138. Matt, November 16, 2008:

    …very well constructed and an excellent history lesson although we still must recognize that 500+ years ago the Europeans stole north america from the native tribes that were here first

  139. Muriel Fahrion, November 16, 2008:

    Whoops! Nice job but you missed Carl Stokes. “Carl B. Stokes is best known for being Cleveland’s 51st mayor — the first African-American mayor of a major United States city.” That would have 1967, 41 years ago.

  140. crawford, November 17, 2008:

    This needs to end up on walls in classrooms. A great teaching moment.

  141. Barbara Goodman, November 17, 2008:

    What happened to the mention of my favorite hero George Washington Carver?
    I would like to see a time line like this of women’s progress in our country and a time line of the history of the Native Americans to hang on the classroom wall alongside this wonderful time line.

  142. Joy, November 17, 2008:

    Hey congradulations to Obama,
    Why do we hear so little of the indigenous americans i think the indigenous have it worse than anyone in this world. is it true that africans (or some) sold their own mob? i am hearing they are selling women as sex slaves to saudi Aribia and other arab countries.

  143. you, November 17, 2008:

    A job well done.

  144. Kate Douglas, November 17, 2008:

    This should be on the wall of every classroom in America. Well done!

  145. AC, November 17, 2008:

    First, let me compliment you for your effort in undertaking such an enormous task. You will continue to be challenged by some who will genuinely want to assist you, and by others who simply want to either find fault or show off their historical prowess. In any event, the primary focus here should be that someone took the initiative to contribute to the fabric of education. If there are those of you who feel there are errors, please make your own contributions and post them , so that we may have a more accurate picture of the time lines and persons as they relate to historical events in our American culture. There is truly no need for all of this anger and unproductive, sarcastic commentary. We can never move forward as human beings, if we continue to drag one another through the mud….history is history, but intelligence should separate us from he very devices that have shown our inhumanity to one another, and encourage us to be better than those who came before us. This planet is too small, too fragile, and needy for us to be bickering about things we can consciously fix as members of the human race. This is where we need the growth…not so much in the realm of gender, race, ethnicity, and so on. Our human family is at stake and either we all work together to save ourselves, or we all will perish together…gay, straight,black, white, red, yellow, brown, all religious persuasions, everyone. How does that sound? Let’s focus on the important things…let’s treat each other with respect and a helping hand, rather than a slap across the face. We must be better than this…we are running out of time.
    Please…”STAY IN THE LIGHT” For that is where true love resides. Peace,

  146. Mitch Jones, November 17, 2008:

    “I hate it when they tell us how far we came to be,
    as if our peoples history started with slavery”

    – Immortal Technique
    “Leaving the Past”

  147. David Gatson, November 17, 2008:

    1/2 Kenyan + 1/2 Kansan =

    1 African/American

  148. Realist (Gay/10%Norwegian/10%Dutch/20%Irish/40%Lebanese/Male), November 18, 2008:

    Absolutely Amazing. An Excellent poster for the classrooms. It depicts progress in America, nothing more. NOT about black culture, and their continuous struggle with racism, but progress in an American society. A society with SO many cultures and peoples that any diagram showing progress should be shown to our kids. So that subconsciously and consciously they are aware of the history. Kids more kind-hearted than our elders (since our ignorant society has yet to shape them) and

    I believe posters like these will help influence younger generations and old to appreciate ALL walks of life (GAY- STRAIGHT-BLACK-WHITE-RED-BROWN-GREEN?). AGAIN, THIS depicts a cultural progression of a dark history from a country that, even still, has so much hate.

    If we can remember our Nation’s past, reflect on it’s present(good or bad), strive for a better more peaceful society, then eventually overtime, we’ll have a society that progresses. THAT is progression, and needs to be acknowledged, so we know how far, as a SOCIETY, we’ve come. 🙂

    Peace, Love, Happiness to all.

  149. Realist (Gay/10%Norwegian/10%Dutch/20%Irish/40%Lebanese/Male), November 18, 2008:

    *Wanted to include this in previous post.*

    Please, make more of these. This is very captivating to the visual mind set; thus, kids are more likely to grasp the concept of progression.

    Also, as a homosexual, I can “relate” to the emotional drawbacks from a diagram of “American Minority Progression” ending with a “mission accomplished”, sort of speak…especially when we all know there’s/should be more to come.


    How About:

    At the very bottom of your diagram, in small Italicized letters, add something to the effect of..”Progression…to be continued.) or something to that nature. It adds more optimism and a keen sense of interest in the path of progression; in which, is still a little crooked.

    If society, as a majority, were as optimistic about your progression diagrams as needed be, the ignorant would soon become the minority 🙂

    I’m crossing my fingers for “Gay Marriage” to be added to your future homosexual progression poster 😀 !!

  150. LeftLeaningLiberal, November 18, 2008:

    Excellent work! This timeline is beautifully presented and awe-inspiring. This piece celebrates the progress of this country, from once enslaving and oppressing people of color to now electing such a person to the highest office in the land. This is truly progress and every American should be proud. It is truly a new day!

  151. Civilrights?, November 18, 2008:

    As an African-American, I think it is sad to see all of the postings related to gay rights. This is a completely separate issue and has nothing to do with the election of Barack Obama. Instead of being angry with African-Americans whose votes coincide with their religious beliefs, the gay community should be angry that a civil rights issue was even placed on a ballot for a vote. Additionally, get the facts straight, African-Americans are not a large enough percentage of the population to have swayed the vote on this proposition. It was people from all races and religious groups that voted against gay marriage.

  152. nathan, November 18, 2008:

    People INSIST on mixing apples with oranges. Why are people STILL confusing a moral,religious issue with a civil,legal issue?We still have separation of church and state. A fight for racial equality is different than fighting for moral/immoral equality. People allied in a struggle for racial equality are bonded by race, people struggling for gay rights are bonded by thier sexual orientation, unfortunately for them others don’t share that bond.

  153. Sam, November 18, 2008:

    Got to love the guy who points out the spelling error then uses “alot” in the same sentence.

  154. S. Lorraine Sawyer, November 18, 2008:

    This was wonderful. I, too, would be interested in a poster. I full realize that you could not possibly include all of the people and events which have impacted the lives of Black folks, but I do not recall seeing Thurgood Marshall, who presented the Brown vs, Board of Ed. case to the Supreme Court, later appointed the 1st Federal judge, and most importantly, appointed the first Black U.S. Supreme Court judge, a position he held for 25 years.
    But, Jess, you did a fine, ine job.
    To Mikyed, perhaps, you SHOULD start complaining.
    Yes, slavery has been around for thousands of years. Clearly slavery is not something invented by Americans. Chattel slavery, that which existed in America, is uniquely American and far more insidious.
    Some commenters are sorely in need of some history lessons. Yes, Africa was, indeed, a great continent. You need only to read about the ancient civilizations of mali, Songhai, Ghana, and Benin.
    Finally, to be Black in America is a social configuration, institutionally and systemically created,driven, and perpetuated. Yes, President-elect Obamba is a Black man, elected to the highest office even though he is obviously a Black man
    which makes me hopeful that one
    day racism will be seen as some ancient, primitive belief based on ignorance.

  155. R. Lee Gordon, November 19, 2008:

    Good post, especially the last sentence, Lorraine . . .

    And this is an excellent resource for African American youth to better understand that we can create alot more progress alot more quickly if we all actively participate in bettering the quality of learning for our children.

    R. Lee Gordon
    http://www.greaternewyorkyouth.org (just around the corner . . .)

  156. don tishman, November 19, 2008:

    Today Obama showed his true “colors”
    naming an African-American as Attorney General. Much of the type castings of “black” people as criminals by prosecutors must now change. This is a great victory for all people following an administration that threw away our Constitution. Now we can prosecute the slick tricksters that dominated the Bush-Cheney dictatorship. The torturers of people of color need to ber punished.

  157. Hassina, November 19, 2008:

    I am from the UK. One of my African American sisters sent this to me. Although it is quite interesting to follow the timeline, the comments on the blog are very surprising, to say the least. It would appear that Americans are not only unaware of what is happening outside of their country but also unaware of what has happened within their country! I was educated in the Caribbean and a lot of this was taught to us along with the history of slavery etc in the West Indies. My point is that this information should be common knowledge to African Americans, but many are surprised and awe-struck by it! That alone shocking!

  158. Elizabeth, November 19, 2008:

    Is there any way to make corrections on the poster? First, is the misspelling of Government. In one location, it’s lacking the “n.” In another spot, you have the hyphen in African-American when it’s in smaller print, but immediately preceding it, in large print, the hyphen is missing. I wish the names of all the “first”s were there. The first in baseball… even though I can’t remember his name at this early moment of the morning… has an inspiring story. Another “first” just preceding that doesn’t have the name, either.

    Very cool poster, though! Progress has not been without its setbacks. Reminds me of the “Mother may I?” game from childhood, one step forward and two steps back, etc. An ironic position of permission accompanies that analogy, too.

    The Mennonite Quakers and Rhode Islanders were sure cool people. The laws and the actions throughout our history make it clear that what we say and what we do have not been so consistent.

    When I reached Barack’s accomplishment, which of course I knew was coming, I still teared up. I would like his name to be a bit larger.

    It’s a beautiful poster. I like being able to see that all in one place. I need to scout around and find how much it is. Thanks for pulling it together. Is it too late for the corrections?

    ~ Lizzy

  159. Shaman, November 19, 2008:

    Well, this is to bust all of your bubles because it’s time to stop perpetrating fraud. Obama is NOT the 1st Black President of the uSA and certainly not the 1st prior to the founding of the uSA via of the Articles of Association and the Articles of Confederation, which prepared and set up the uSA. Yes, Obam is only 1/2 Black as someone pointed out but with that, that makes him Black in societies around the world nonetheless. Anyway, George Washington’s mother was Black (from here) and his father was King George from England. Then there is Andrew Jackson, Harding, Lincold and several others who were Black. So this is NOT history. Maybe only because it’s in our lifetime but it’s certainly nothing new or historic. Oh yeah, just because he might be the only one who acknowledged their heritage. Historical facts have always been scewed by those in power to suit their own needs and to manipulate the populace. Please people, read the book, “The 5 Black Presidents” and gain some insight. Do your own research. Go back and reserach why it’s even called the white house. Here’s an assisgnment, have your children do this as an extra-cirriculum assisgment. By the way, so-called Blacks have ALWAYS been here on this continent. They are the true Indigenous People of the continent. They are the so-called Indians, those referred to in Article One of the Constitution for the United States. Who you see plastered in posters are not the full-blooded Indigenous Native Americans of this land. They are cousins so to speak. Research the Journals of Christopher Columbus and other aoutobiographies of the time to know who the people were that they encountered when the outsiders set foot on this land. The timeline that you offered to your members, although it may be “accurate” is not accurate. Blacks, the true Native Americans, were already here and already had government established here. Your timeline outlines “firsts” for Blacks in a second-class citizenship capacity as if we never contributed to society prior to that. Oh yeah, by the way, the so-called Black was NOT brought over here on slave ships 389 years or so ago. They were already here and navigating the waters long before that. Please get your facts straight and cease perpetuating the fraud.

  160. ada velez, November 19, 2008:

    I believe this is THE MAYOR PROGRESS the people of the UNITED STATES have a EVER done!!!! TWO THUMBS UP! sincerily!

  161. Shaman, November 19, 2008:

    Please also check out the Jesuit Letters and the accounts of WHO the Blacks were then, and now. Same people then, same people today. Obama is NOT Native American to THIS land. The “Blacks” that are Indigenous to here should never be a part of the USA unless they choose to be because the USA is a corporation/company that was only established to do trade/business/commerce with the true Native Americans that were already here. Obama is a foreigner with foreign ancestry. Sorry to bust your bubbles again. Obama’s great great grandfather was a Confederate President. Look in “Hopes and Dreams: The Story of Barack Obama” by Steve Dougherty

  162. Lajuana, November 19, 2008:

    I think it’s great that you put something together like this however some of the dates are wrong. Hek most of the dates are wrong for pratical purposes. Amendment XV did give black people the right to vote in 1870, and some used it right away, electing state and federal senators and representatives. Jim Crow quickly snatched away that right for all practical purposes, however, as poll taxes and literacy tests–and Klansmen–denied blacks that fundamental right. President Johnson’s Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the true turning point in our national history of beginning to embrace blacks as full citizens with equal rights

  163. No no Good, November 19, 2008:

    i love this. i currently work for wgpr and im proud to see my employer on this list

  164. lbell, November 20, 2008:

    Please let me know as soon as you have this available for purchase, I would like to get this poster. I already have a wall of historic art, this would be a great centerpiece!


  165. Stephen L Daughtery, November 20, 2008:

    This was very educational for my kids and would love to have a poster once it is available. In a positive sense we as a people need to wake up and recognize the struggles our ancestors has gone through to get us here. And it is our job to keep moving forward and accept our GOD given right to have the American Dream.

    Luke 9:23 – And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (KJV)

  166. joanne erickson, November 20, 2008:

    I love this. Visually it is stunning. The information provided is thought provoking. A great combination of graphics and info.

    For the purposes here, does it really matter if there are typos, if Obama is only 6.25% black, if certain events were left out, etc…?

    I also would love to purchase this as a poster when available. I hope it will be available by Christmas. The poster would be a great gift for many.


  167. iloveobamabut, November 21, 2008:

    I love Obama, don’t get me wrong, but why does everyone keep referring to him as the first BLACK president, when he is actually the first INTER-RACIAL president. Way to go, Barack, great job. I voted for you and I’m proud of you, heck I’ve been supporting you for this position before I even knew you were running (4 years ago), but lets call it what it is.

  168. Ew, November 21, 2008:

    How could you leave out the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the most important pieces of legislation in our nation’s history?

  169. James R. Friday, November 21, 2008:

    What a wonder! My dad was a sergeant in the USAF in 1954 when Eisenhower desegregated the military. He said it was a good change, but he didn’t expect it would make any real difference. I am so glad he was wrong, and I’m so glad I lived long enough to see Barack Obama elected. I don’t know if this is the promised land, but it’s better than I ever expected. Good work on the poster.

  170. Marc, November 22, 2008:

    A great description of the shackles placed on black American people. So much has been achieved since the days of slavery.

  171. bob, November 22, 2008:

    why dont all yall monkeys fuck off back to good `ol africa and see how ye like it there.an stop bitching bout the USofA

  172. nb, November 22, 2008:

    I liked the piece. It was moving and well done.

    However, I hate the word African-American. I know it was first intended to be more politically correct and avoid using other demeaning terms but in today’s day and age I can not see its relevance.

    Further, it implies that all “black” people are from both Africa and America. When you go to England…what do you say there?

    The atrocities of the past should never be forgotten…at the same time the atrocity of today is that it is still an issue (and worth talking about).

    Obama was the best for the job (never been more sure of any other candidate) period. End of story. Hopefully he will be remembered for the great American man and President that he will be….and not for the color of his skin.

  173. Charles DeShields, November 22, 2008:

    One of the readers of this blog said that Barack Obama is half African American. Let’s take a close look at this. His biological mother is from Kansas (which is in America), and his biological father is from Kenya (which is in Africa). I would venture to say Barack Obama is more African American than any black person I know, including myself!

  174. Dr. Joy Davis, November 23, 2008:

    Overwhelming!! when you see the numbers..the dates before your eyes all at once– It’s a POWERFUL visual testimony of the sheer strength and resiliency of African Americans for 389 years in this country! thank you, Jess.

    I’m looking forward to more.

  175. Alfredo Anthony, November 23, 2008:

    Excellent work…please include GEN Colin Powell becomes the first and only African American to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989 – 1993).

  176. Peter, November 23, 2008:

    Guys, the election of Obama on the 4th of November is progress. Nobody ever had thought that a person of color (as they say) could occupy the Oval office. Call him half black, half white, European, African or nothing, we have made progress. The younger ones are to be encouraged to pursue excellence as Obama did. We have a lot of young black people who are as smart, even smarter than Obama but never believed that a person of their color will ever get to this point in life. In years to come,more of Martin Luther King’s dream will come to pass. This is the beginning. Just watch!!!

  177. C. Vega, November 23, 2008:

    Hello? C’mon – confess!Unacknowledged advantage, discrimination, preference, prejudice, fear, and the fake concepts of “racism” and “ethnicity” – still all boil down to the darkness of the skin, the flare of the nose, and the kink of the hair. Including Jews, Native Hawaiians, Aboriginal people in Australia/New Zealand, Okinawans, and yes, Americans of “black” African origin. Marrying (or at least reproducing) “UP” still means having lighter-skinned children with “modest” noses and straight or no-more-than wavey hair. It’s all baloney and it’s all real. This material is copyrighted.

  178. no name, November 24, 2008:

    Sure, it’d probably be impossible to include all pieces of relevant history. There is, however, some irony in leaving out the “one-drop rule” about who “counts” as African-American that has been in place since slavery and the beginning of the census. It’s ironic because because every time someone says that we’ve elected our first African-American president they enact this old and discriminatory rule. Is that progress?

  179. JerziSapphire, November 24, 2008:

    Jess, I enjoyed reading this minus all the negative things people had to say…It’s amazing to me that someone who didn’t like it or agree with it would actually take the time out of their day to type anything…And how could you have possibly listed all important Black History dates in this…I say if you think things are missing then do your own timeline and put in all the correct dates instead of pointing out what you think are flaws on someone else’s work and see how long it takes you…

    You educated many by doing this timeline…as the old saying goes…I won’t hate, just congratulate…Well done!!!!

  180. Emerson Pittman, November 24, 2008:

    Interesting reading. However, I take issue with portions of it, for instance, (1) How can you not mention Jackie Robinson by name (2) I also agree with several of the comments that were made — concerning overlooking VA Governor Wilder (3) Also absent were such notables as Shirley Chisholm, Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell and (4) while GEN Petersen may have been the first Black Marine Corps General how do you overlook GEN Ben O. Davis the first Black Military general?

    I realize in an expose’ like this you can’t mention every notable event/individual, but if we are doing a timeline of Black torchbearers those are some names that can’t be overlooked — none-the-less it is a very educational piece.

  181. Relicar, November 24, 2008:

    We are all slaves at one time or another. Look forward and think right.

  182. Will, November 25, 2008:

    Anyone who thinks that the color of your skin determines who you are, or what you are is a racist individual that despises equality and coverts revenge.
    Relicar is right, every “race” has been a slave, and it was greed that allowed slavery in a country where the declaration of independence reaffirmed the rights of man. This racial crap is perpetrated by people who are slaves to the media and refuse to look at reason as they constantly remind us of the past instead of looking forward into the future. They seek revenge for past grievances to a history that is only remembered by propaganda, and propaganda is created by people who are willingly to socially engineer the public for power and influence.
    Wake up America, Obama is not who the media makes him out to be, stop worshiping him as a messiah, he has no real answers, he is just another wealthy banker that has succeeded in enslaving the hearts, minds, and souls of the voting public.
    “All men are created equal”, but the people who produce the news and perpetrate this racism shite do not want equality, they want power and confusion.
    As long as you don’t think for yourselves they win. They have all the money because they created this system, like Christ Jesus said “Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar”. Caesar is this instance is a corporate antichrist better known as the Federal Reserve.
    People voted for Obama expecting hand outs from the Fed, don’t be surprised when the false prophet asks for your souls in return, aka a civilian security force equal in strength and funding to the U.S. military. He proposed this when he was in Denver, Co. He’s just another puppet mouthpiece for a beast of a system.
    The truth is coming, you can either wake up and live, or you can stay asleep and blindly obey Obama when he wants you to fully worship him.
    Be smart, and wake up.

  183. RL Corley, November 25, 2008:

    We seemed to have left out quite a few first eg.: 1st Black Astronaut, Inventors, Scientist, Doctors, Scholars, Sports Figures, Businessmen & Women, Educators, etc.

    I’m sure after seeing your great and appreciated contribution others will provide more.

    Thank you.

  184. Dean Hovey, November 26, 2008:

    I’m totally surprised that the poster makes no mention of black doctors being disallowed to practice medicine in US hospitals for over a century except in military hospitals until only recently due to blatant racial discrimination by the American Medical Association. Only recently did black medical professionals recieve an apology for the mistreatment from the AMA. I wonder what else the poster fails to mention . . .

  185. Anna Lee Court, November 26, 2008:

    I looked at this with a young student, Nathan, age 9. We both think it is very informative and very powerful, seing black history this way. I like the typology, if that’s what you call it. It captures the eye and underscores the information very well. Its a forceful presentation. Nathan Here. I think your graphic is a great piece of information. I wish I could bring it to school. All my classmates would be awed at such a good presentation.

  186. potato, November 27, 2008:

    yada yada yada,jeez you blacks really do have issues instead of thanking folks for rescuing u from the stinking hell of africa all ye do is bitch about not getting this or that ,why don`t ye all go back to your promised land and see what happens to ye,watch your daughters be circumcised and raped,your sons forced into some militia.ever1 knows colourds are too stupid,lazy and corrupt to rule themselves,the only country in africa which is better off now than it was at the time of independence is south africa and thats gone down the tube since black rule,if it was up to me i`d repatriate all africans and then nuke the whole stinking aids infested continent,i hope i haven`t offended any1 just saying it like it is.

  187. potato, November 27, 2008:

    btw for all ye fools who want to put this shite in schools,why the fuck would you want to emphasise this fucking slave mentality ,inferiority complex bs,just so you can further radicalise and enhance differences between kids,seriously why would you want to do that to kids ye sick fucks

  188. Nic, November 28, 2008:

    Definitely not an African American. Arab American, yes. And I would say that is even more impressive. It’s sad that NOBODY knows this though. YOU ARE ALL RACISTS THE COLOR OF HIS SKIN DOES NOT MAKE HIM AFRICAN AMERICAN

  189. RW, November 28, 2008:

    I would point out that the first ‘blacks’ were sold to Jamestown residents as indentured servants. ttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1narr3.html It was only subsequent loads that became slaves…..

    Indentured servants of both ‘black’ and ‘white’ skins were “sold” to purchasers who, after a limited period of time (frequently 3-7 years), were supposed to supply the ex-servant with tools, clothing, training, etc. for life as a free(wo)man.

  190. Antonio, November 29, 2008:

    This is great. I’m looking foward to getting a copy once this goes for sale. No it doesn’t have all the EXACT information but its GREAT! Loosen up people. The creator of this is not making a exact historical piece but a work or historical art!

    To you people that say Barrack is not black. Can you be any more ignorant? Do you not watch the media? Follow any news? Sure he’s half white. I’m half hispanic but all my life I’ve been treated like I’m black!

    To you racists… are you serious? Why even post up?

    Great work! I can’t wait to buy mine.

  191. Jacqueline Davis, November 30, 2008:

    I was reading some of the feedback and I guess there will always be -/+ when someone does anything. I will accept the information as it is written, one person view. I don’t believe the words are mint to be taking as a doctrine just one person reflection. I hope there are not too many people walking the streets of America really thinking “we are free at last”. And for those who feel this was left out or that was left out. Write and present your version of “life in America”. I feel it’s a job well done because no one will ever know “all that has happen in this country”. Greed is the foundation of this country and simple minded thinking; freedom comes when we are dead. So, enjoy the snail pace progress. I appreciate and respect the slave’s strength and courage because I must say I do enjoy my present –v-there past. And I double appreciate snippets of the past to keep me on my toes, I am sitting at a desk not in field because someone had the strength to stand up and roar “no more”! And leave “GOD” out of men ability to screw things up!

  192. potato, November 30, 2008:

    most niggers was better off when they be pickin cotton,least they had secure employment

  193. althea, November 30, 2008:

    great job, very powerful. i dont understand why people are being so nitpicky, they are missing the point entierley. this wasnt meant to be an academic article describing every grievance and triumph in black history with footnotes saying “this event might not actually count because this person was only 3/5 black”. it was a summary of general progress, and i think it was done well.

    and the comments criticizing this because other races have also experienced slavery? everyone suffers and all kinds of people have gone through injustice, but since when has that made one person’s suffering any less important? this is just acknoweldgeing the progress of ONE group of people, it is not saying that this struggle is more or less important than anyone else’s.

  194. STUART, December 1, 2008:



  195. Sean T, December 1, 2008:

    My how far have we come as a country! This info is just as beautiful as the front pages from across the world showing the emotions of other countries across the world beaming with joy, excitement, pride, and passion because we have finally began to practice the TRUE democracy that we try and force on other nations across the WORLD! How BIG is that? Job well done my friend! This should be shared with black history students everywhere so they see the relevance of the timeline and the extremes that have been mentioned throughout yourblog. Thanks for sharing!!!

  196. Tatianna Dennis, December 2, 2008:

    I am so excited to be here in this time and day when you really be proud to be a part of history. When I saw BARACK OBAMA come out and on the stage after he had won the election I at that moment knew that ALL is possible for all three of my sons to do much more than try to be a rapper or an athlete just to be able to make a name for yourself. To read all of the things blacks had to go throught to get to this point we all need to say thank you beacause although it was hard work it was I can finally say we made this far lets keep the tourch lit.

  197. Sybil B, December 3, 2008:

    Very tastefully done! An excellent reminder of the history of America!

  198. Ms. Lola, December 4, 2008:

    This is truly our time to shine. As Africian American we have stood the test of time, and with our latest accomplishment the electing of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America has instilled a sense of pride in good God fearing people all over the world. I am proud to be an American. This piece 389 speaks of the trails and triphants of our race. It’s awesome and I applaude the person who had the presence of mind to put it together and share with the world.

  199. Candiss, December 5, 2008:

    I am very impressed by the timeline. After reading so many of the comments, I had so much I wanted to say. I actually changed my mind about leaving a comment after reading so many that I thought could be considered fairly ignorant… but I’ll say my peace anyway.

    I am a 22 yr. old AMERICAN female. Born and raised in THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and if race is a factor (which it is to those of you who feel that it isn’t), well let’s just say I have “pretty brown skin.” 😉

    Firstly, it does not matter whether Barack Obama is Black, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, Canadian, or whatever else you want him to be. I didn’t vote for him for that reason. The truth of the matter is, he is the man represents (to me) so many different types of Americans (regardles of race, sex or religion). He is multicultural. He comes from a single-parent home. His father wasn’t in the picture. His grand-parents had a lot to do with his upbringing. He may not have had “The Cosby Show” or “Full House” family, but we are all looking for change and I feel he more closely represents that than any other person that ran for the presidency.

    As far as the timeline goes, it is wonderful. To all the nit-pickers… I’m sure some things were left out but how can one person truly account for EVERY event in history? And to those who want to compare English-American accomplishments to African-Americans and call us whiners… GET REAL. It is true, with the things mentioned, there has been progres.. And that’s all it can be called is PROGRESS. But we are NO WHERE compared to where we SHOULD BE… (isn’t this obvious when as you’ve documented that a man was lynched only 10 years ago). I feel like racism is almost just a prevelent as it was years ago… its just dressed in a different fashion.


    Thanks for your work. It is to be commended and appreciated.


  200. Candiss, December 5, 2008:

    And just scrolling up a bit… I try not be ignorant, but


  201. Tommy, December 5, 2008:

    Jessie Jackson jr. made a comment that blacks should “pull up thier paints” and represent the black pres. well. I disagree Barack should represent us. Create policies that gives equal treatment to blacks in education, and the justice system and they will have a reason to pull their paints up. He should be representing us. Not the other way around.

  202. Tommy, December 5, 2008:

    It is not just enough to elect a black pres. That is only the first step. If he does not reverse and help to change racist policies we might as well have elected Allen Keys. We must press him to change the policies to create a more perfect and equal union. Dont be satisfied. Be watchfull and hold him accountable.

  203. Steve T, December 5, 2008:

    Let me say this about Obama and this half black thing which is a myth because most “black” people are mixed. Let me look at one side of my family tree. My grandfather was half indian half black, and my grandmother was half white and half black. One of my grandmother sister had blond hair and blues yet was was classified as “colored”.
    most “black” people over here can’t trace their roots back to the motherland, but Obama can. Also, if they did a DNA on Obama, which is based on your father, he would be traced back to Africa. Most “black” can have their DNA traced back to Africa, but some of ours will be traced to England, Ireland, China, etc which means we are all are mixed.

    Brack is a true Africian American and his DNA would prove it and most other DNA may say otherwise.

  204. potato, December 6, 2008:

    most crime is committed by young black males it`s just a shame they are not more efficient at killing each other

  205. Jennifer, December 7, 2008:

    He is actually half African and half American, as his father was from Africa and his mother from America. And I am proud of this feat of his, but in acting like we have finally gotten rid of prejudice in America, please re-read this to see when Black Women were given the right to vote. Until all men and women are viewed equally (regardless of skin color), we will never be free.

  206. Dee, December 10, 2008:

    This was very informative. Does John Hanson the first Black president of the republic have any relevance here? Thank You for taking the time to do this, I’ll forward it to my peeps.

  207. Shareece, December 12, 2008:

    This really made my day. Not to be the downer, did anyone else feel terrible that the amount of progress did not go without a price? A price that frankly is still being paid everyday. Despite the president, every leader like him has been assassinated. Even here in nyc where everyone knew Obama would win had hate crimes going on the night Obama won. I want this poster. It will be a constant reminder that we all should finish paying as americans for what has happened or we will never be able to enjoy the progress that is surrounding us.

  208. Stephanie M. Middleton, December 14, 2008:


  209. potato, December 14, 2008:

    most crimes are committed by darkies,as every1 knows most are too stupid to be productive members of society,hopefully hussain will help young black criminals change their ways

  210. Adolfo Rosado, December 15, 2008:

    I think it’s a great poster. Good job.
    Please stop by my website and check out my contribution. I designed many of the Obama Campaign Buttons for the Grand Rapids Michigan Obama Headquarters. I was a staffer for Obama as well. http://www.inaugurationdaybuttons.com
    Thank you

  211. MMoses, December 15, 2008:

    People who compare the gay rights issue with the struggles of blacks in this country should be asshamed and ridiculed for riding on the backs of African Americans who were killed, robbed of our identity, language, history, and rights to be human! How can you compare what’s written in this timeline with being denied inclusion into a institution (marriage) that is ordined by God! We (African Amerians) had no choice in our skin color nor in the choice of slavery! Sexual orientation (just as who we decide…to sleep with white or black), is a choice, ” not a right.” It’s like comparing being denied the choice of wearing a blue shirt with being denied the right to have arm’s and legs! Please, you dishonor my forefathers, God denies you the right to be unholy not African Americans!

  212. Lee, December 16, 2008:

    Awesome work. I thank God for your vision in creating this uniquely presented piece of history. I do have two comments, one of which memicks a comment by another person that wrote in…please add dates. Yes we can probabably calculate it but 5 years from now, this will not be acurate–nor next year for that matter. Two, I am a black American-not African American. When we start identifying other races as, German American, French American, Polish American, Chinese American and (you get my drift), we can then talk about “African American”. By saying “African American”, we seperate ourselves from being “true” Americans. I am proud to be black and proud to be American. God has been good.

  213. Tracy, December 16, 2008:

    Great work

  214. jasen, December 17, 2008:

    This is really cool. I love it

  215. DEANSLISS, December 17, 2008:


  216. pradeep, December 19, 2008:

    But he is only the 5th African American senator in 400 years. Is that democracy.

  217. pradeep, December 19, 2008:

    But he, Obama, is only the 5th African American senator in 400 years. Is that democracy.

  218. howard owens, December 23, 2008:

    the poster is great.of couse u canot commit 2 one poster even a small amount of the events that hav led 2 radical and or significant changes in the evolution of the so called black man in america.i would like 2 suggest a series of sub topic posters as learning tools.a poster on politics,a poster on economic developement,education,etc. in order 2 b nclusive as possible of poster highlights and he[she]roes i would suggest u recruit university r high schooll students

  219. Brenda Shelby, December 23, 2008:

    Awesome Jess, A lot of research was put in getting this timeline together. I commend you on all the hard work.

    I also would like to thank the following persons on their comments: AC, Stacey and S.Lorraine Sawyer. Candiss beening only 22 your comment was great.

    Bob and Don You just need love. It is sad to know there are people like you. God bless you anyway.

    Potato you are just an ignorant person. I will be praying for you for real.

    I am 54 years old. I am a BEG for those that don’t know what that is. It stands for Black Egyptian Greek.

    Please don’t get it twisted I am very proud to be a BLACK woman. Everyone is mixed with something so none of us are of one straight race. We all belong to Christ and if we don’t love each other, how can we say we love HIM. Be blessed. Brenda Shelby

  220. jesus barraza, January 2, 2009:

    Not sure that’s progress, there are still thousands of black people living in slave like conditions. You call that progress?

  221. lilly, January 4, 2009:

    it really shows you how BIG of a deal Barak getting elected is!

  222. ralphy, January 4, 2009:

    Hey pradeep, define democracy for me. Also, I am elated that an African American now holds the strongest chair in the world. I’ve been dealing with minority contractors my whole career and have been denied work because the government has gone even further and has said that if your white you don’t get to do certain work. Reversal anyone? Goodbye affirmative action!!!!!!!!!!!!

  223. Healer, January 4, 2009:

    To Nick Istre… Actually, Nick, few if any people are “racially pure”. So one is generally how one identifies oneself, within reason.

    After 400 years in this country, most bloodlines here are mixed, and many were mixed before they reached these shores.

    Barack, in his own words, has identified himself as an African-American. So, that is what he is. And he seems to embrace all, regardless of how THEY choose to identify themselves. 🙂

  224. Samethia, January 6, 2009:

    This is very powerful stuff, although I have mixed feelings about it.

    I’m with all the other commenters who are bitter about prop 8. How can no one see how similar these situations are? Why is it wrong for people to use “the n-word”, a horrible, hurtful word, to describe black people, yet if a black person (or any person) wants to call me a f*ggot (a word derived from the fact that homosexuality was once punished by burning the homosexual alive, like a faggot of wood) it’s perfectly acceptable? Why is it okay for interracial couples to walk down the street hand in hand, to kiss each other in public, to get married, yet when I do the same thing with the woman I love the very kindest thing a person will do is avert their eyes as though I’ve done something shameful. I’m digressing though.

    My other problem with all this is, as other people have said, I see President Obama’s election as a victory for the American people as a whole. It is not just a victory for black people. A large majority of white people voted for him too. And latino people. And asian people. And native american people. American people, as a whole, voted for change and hope. To me, it was a proud moment for all people, and it gave me hope that someday all people really will be treated equally.

    And, when you get right down to it, I didn’t vote for Barack Obama because he’s black, I voted for him because I felt he was the most qualified candidate. And I suspect at least half the people who voted for him did too. So in light of all of that, is it really an accomplishment for us as Americans or for the Civil Rights Movement, or is it just a coincidence that the most qualified man for the job had a Kenyan parent?

  225. Jacqui, January 7, 2009:

    Great, moving stuff and I’m glad to know you’re going to make a poster available. Do note however, Colin Powell was the first African American to hold the position of National Security Advisor (1987-1989) under Ronald Regan — not Condoleezza Rice. Would be good to fix before you do your print run.

  226. Polly, January 9, 2009:

    all bullshit. why are we all keeping count of everything. what about the midgets and people with one leg. let’s get them recognized, too. plenty of minorities. I’m part American Indian. What’s the big deal? I could care less if any American Indian is in any government position, etc. At this point, I expect any smart, responsible person who is capable and has the creds to do the job. While I’m at it, what about all the other “minorities” that came to this country – Irish, Jews, Italians. They had plenty of adversity and were persecuted harshly. Why do the blacks, excuse me African Americans, feel it’s their right to be injected everywhere. What happened to earning a place in society!!? Earn it, work for it, prove yourself. That’s right, I said it.

  227. Mama Donya, January 10, 2009:

    Exceptional work! While a few significant ommissions and 1 or 2 slights of date, it is essential to continue to remind EVERY AMERICAN that, Black America still AINT WHERE IT SHOULD BE or NEED TO BE before we start to call it progress. We just AINT THERE! LET’S FACE IT, IT IS OUR RIGHT TO BE INJECTED EVERYWHERE. BLACKS who were forced to be African American are the real pioneers who built this country, BAR NONE. You can be in de Nile all you want, but the truth be told, we put in the time with our blood, sweat, titties and testicles and this country will NEVER be able to repay the debt they owe to Blacks in America and that is America [period].

  228. priscilla Royal, January 10, 2009:

    I did not think it would be in my lifetime but I am overjoyed that it did. Go Barrack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  229. joe yearwood, January 11, 2009:

    I’m happy to see that everyone has a chance to become a somebody,but I still see that most of you are still RACISTS. No one is black or white or red or yellow.We are all BROWN. Different shades,but still BROWN.It’s good to see we are slowly coming together as one RACE.Please remember that race is BROWN.

  230. Chelly, January 12, 2009:

    wow, you guys really tearing this apart. I love this piece you created. I think if people think that you forgot something that they should create their own timeline. People should be able to express themseleves or create something with out people always picking you apart. That is not constructive critism, but being a “hater” (try reading maya angelou’s poem hater)

    Good work and I enjoyed reading this. Color is always going to be evident. Its the first thing most people notice when you first meet someone…Its the way we choose to act when we see color is what is really important.

    Have a happy new year and a blessed day!


  231. Barbara Chase-Riboud, January 12, 2009:

    32 years ago the last black code law which made interacial marrage a felony was repealed in Virginia by the supreme court (Loving vs Virginia)

  232. Warren G. Taylor, January 12, 2009:

    I would like to purchase a poster of “389 Years Ago” for our Black History P{rogram at my church.

    Please send information for this.

  233. H.G. Wells, January 12, 2009:

    Well, i’m trying to figure what you mean by african american? If you are going by stereotyped notions of what it means to be black then yes I suppose you are correct. However, this is merely perpetuating racial divides.

    Obama is no more black than he is white.

  234. Sue, January 13, 2009:

    I am not African or American but English and I have pale and rather wrinkly skin. However, this timeline and its generations of stories are a deep inspiration for my family and I. We all happened to be in North America during the Democrat Convention and watched Barack Obama’s speech on TV. Our 12 year old son, who is not particularly aware of borders, boundaries or politics but recognised that something momentous was in the making, exclaimed, ‘ this is the most important election in the world and this man must win it. How can I vote for him?’

  235. Gerold, January 15, 2009:

    To H.G. Wells,
    According to the laws, customs, and atrocities visited upon african slaves as well as their descendents, Mr. Obama is very much so Black!

    I’m going to assume you’ve never heard of the 1/8th blood rule. Check your history, don’t revise it!

    On the other hand – this is an incredible piece of work.

  236. Leo Brown, January 16, 2009:

    Where do I go to find the pre-sale? I have been looking and waiting for this print to go on sale.
    Thank You

  237. John, February 11, 2009:

    Maybe one day the LGBT community will have come as far.

  238. Kimberly @ Current Events Blog, February 13, 2009:

    Wow! That is REALLY REALLY cool!

    I love how this is compiled all in one spot with factual numbers…

    Great poster and history of African Americans in the United States!

    Thank you for this!

    Kimberly 🙂

  239. anonymous, February 22, 2009:

    its interesting that washingtons owning slaves and not his release or them his opinion on slavery was mentioned.

  240. Paul Gotskind, March 15, 2009:

    I love to steal from my mom. I love to buy capguns. I love to be a behavior disordered kid in the Lubavitcher Yeshiva at Mace Avenue in the Bronx. All of that made me what I am today: a major schlong.

  241. Flesticle, April 20, 2010:

    Cocky doody? Please sniff my klompen-koggen.

  242. replica orologi lusso, October 22, 2011:

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  243. memorycollections, November 6, 2011:

    The sitio web was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!Keep ’em coming… you all do such a great job at such Concepts… can’t tell you how much I, for one appreciate all you do!

  244. Rickey Morvay, November 18, 2011:

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