Over the past twenty years I have had a half dozen ideas for writing about the deplorable black history in America that, fortunately for white Americans, even their black neighbors know too little about. (Life is too busy to keep your nose stuck in history books 24-7) Ever since the NY Times began being beaten up for its 1619 Project by Texans who prefer to turn a blind eye to American History I thought a decade by decade or a generation by generation accounting of what Black people faced because white people had eyes should be spelled out very simply. I made this up in about 45 minutes but it needs a lot more fleshing out. I don’t know if or when I’ll put more meat on these bones but to be clear there hasn’t been a moment of time that black people could rest easy since they were first brought to America in chains to enrich white people.
400 years, 20 generations of black, suffering
In fifty words per double decade
1600 – 19 Portuguese African slave trade began in 1501 to augment the enslavement of South American Indians who whose sugar harvests produced half of all Brazilian exports https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Brazil Set the stage for later Spanish and English slave importation 36 words
1619 – 39 First African slaves brought to British American colonies
1640 – 59 Laws turning black slaves into subhumans..check Wilkerson book
1660 – 79 British slave trade to West Indian sugar plantations begins in 1662, Tacky’s rebellion
1680 – 99
1719 – 39
1740 – 59
1760 – 79 British offer freedom to Colonists slaves to fight Revolutionaries
1780 – 99 France passes laws to prevent slavery in France
1819 – 39 Napolean reimposes slavery in Haiti, New York City a hub for African slave trade and slave catching, Twelve Years a Slave
1840 – 59
1860 – 79 Last Africans brought to America on a bet Baccaroon, Fort Pillow massacre by KKK founder, Beginning and end of Reconstruction.
1880 – 99 Armed Overthrow of North Carolina Government, Plessy vs. Fergusson
1900 – 19 Wilson removes blacks from Civil Service, Blacks are allowed to be drafted in WW 1 but with few exceptions confined to pioneer work. Harlem Hell Fighters a shining exception
1919 – 39 Great Mississippi Flood, Desparate measure to prevent tenant farmers from leaving beginning of the Great Migration for the next sixty years
1940 – 59 Lynching still common in the South up through the hanging of returning black veterans, Montgomery Bus boycott, Banking Red lines enforced in New Deal confine blacks to tiny marginal areas
1960 – 79 Assassination of MKL, Riots in 65, 67, and 68, Housing covenents still honored even when ruled illegal, including Iowa
1980 – 99 black inmates vastly outnumber whites in prisons
2000 – 19 Donald Trump waves the stars and bars, attacks on blacks increase, Cell phones videos make clear the long habit of white police to use excessive and lethal force on blacks often for modest offenses.
Malcolm X wryly explained that when the knife in the back of black Americans was pulled out a little, satisfied white Americans thought of it as progress. After 20 generations that’s a sentiment that’s about 18 generations old by now.