The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum provides descriptions of the Black History Matters free online videos for the second week of February 2023. Black History Matters 2021 and 2022 are also online.

The 2023 programs will be released at midnight on

Feb. 8, 2023: National Urban League and NYC Tenants (1911)

The National Urban League began in 1911 after merging with other organizations aiming to secure and defend the economic rights of Black Americans. The organization continues to operate to this day, and its mission is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. Headquartered in NYC, the National Urban League has more than a hundred chapters across the United States. One of their main objectives in the 1900s was to help Black Americans migrating from rural areas to urban centers like NYC, adapt to life and thrive economically by securing housing and jobs.

Feb. 9, 2023: Buchanan v. Warley and Housing Segregation (1916)

Racially restrictive covenants were contracts imposed on property deed owners that restricted them from selling their homes and property to Black Americans. This was a common practice in the first half of the 1900s and prevented Black owners from moving into White neighborhoods. On Nov. 5, 1917, the Supreme Court case Buchanan v. Warley decided that Louisville’s ordinance prohibiting white property owners from selling to Blacks because they were not permitted to live on a majority white block was unconstitutional. Buchanan, the White homeowner, was trying to sell his home in Louisville, Ky., to Warley, a Black man; however, the city’s ordinance prevented him from doing so. Buchanan then sued Warley, who argued that the city’s law prevented him from completing the purchase. The case went to the Supreme Court after Buchanan argued that the restriction on would-be Black homeowners violated the Due Process Clause from the 14th Amendment. The Supreme Court sided with him and determined that Louisville’s ordinance violated due process.

Feb. 10, 2023: Rosenwald schools (1928)

Throughout the 1920s into the 1930s, the Rosenwald fund started by Julius Rosenwald in 1917 donated enough money to found 527 schools for Black children in 15 states in the American South. About 466 of those schools were in Texas. Black children in the American South were in dire need of educational opportunities, as Jim Crow laws segregated schools, leaving Black children without the means to gain an education. Many of these Rosenwald schools continued operating into the 1960s and, though small, were a first step toward ensuring everyone had access to education.

Feb. 11, 2023: Scottsboro Boys (1931 and 1935)

In 1931, nine Black teenagers were accused of raping two white women while train hopping in Tennessee. Despite their young ages, ranging from 13 to 20, all but one were convicted of rape and sentenced to death in rushed trials held in Scottsboro, Ala. With the help of groups like the NAACP, the case was appealed to the Supreme Court, where the Powell v. Alabama decision in 1932 ordered new trials for the Scottsboro nine. The case highlighted the injustice of the legal system towards Black Americans, who were often tried by all-white juries and sentenced with little or no evidence.

Feb. 12, 2023: Tuskegee Airmen of World War II (1940)

During World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen became the first Black military aviators in the U.S. military, with more than 14,000 service members fighting in the war. This was an incredible feat in an era where Black men fought in segregated units and were considered inferior soldiers to White men. Trained in Tuskegee, Ala., at the historically Black Tuskegee Institute founded by Booker T. Washington, the Tuskegee airmen distinguished themselves as effective airmen by flying more than 15,000 sorties over the battlefields of Europe and North Africa. Their bravery and exceptional service helped make a case for the integration of the armed forces by Harry S. Truman after the war.

Feb. 13, 2023: Durham Manifesto (1942)

In 1942, the Southern Conference on Race Relations assembled in Durham, N.C., to discuss solutions to racial inequality and segregation against the backdrop of World War II. The 50 Black American leaders who had gathered to discuss these issues produced the “Durham Manifesto,” which voiced their fervent opposition to Jim Crow laws and called for the right of Black Americans to political participation, economic justice, freedom from terror and the end of segregation.

The document they produced was a powerful statement highlighting the hypocrisy of Black American soldiers forced to fight for freedom abroad but unable to experience that same freedom at home. The manifesto was a pivotal document preceding the start of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

February 14, 2023 Congress of Racial Equality (1942)

The Congress of Racial Equality was founded in 1942 to promote nonviolent resistance to segregationist laws during the Civil Rights Movement. Originating in Chicago, CORE was active in several pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Era, such as supporting Martin Luther King’s Montgomery Bus Boycott, organizing various sit-ins across Chicago restaurants, assisting in the Voter Education Project and kick-starting the Journey of Reconciliation to ensure the enactment of integrated interstate bus travel across the country.

CORE had social justice activists such as Bayard Rustin among its ranks and actively collaborated with Martin Luther King; however, its involvement with the Freedom Rides would leave it overexposed to violence, eventually disillusioning its members regarding the effectiveness of nonviolence.

By martha

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