The Second Middle Passage

As the United States began to expand, the demand for cotton led to an increase of slave trades in the country. Eager to capitalize, slave owners sold slaves into the deep south…


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The Transatlantic Slave Trade

In the early 1500s, the transatlantic slave trade commenced. Europeans invaded west and central Africa, capturing free people, enslaving them, and placing them on ships as cargo.…


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The Birth of Hip Hop

In 1973, DJ Kool Herc set up his turntables and introduced a technique at a South Bronx house party that would change music as many people knew it. His ability to switch from…


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Barack Obama’s 2008 Election

During the 2004 Democratic National Convention, a first-term senator named Barack Obama from Illinois delivered a speech that exuded excitement, charisma and spark. Four years…


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Marcus Garvey: Leader of a Revolutionary Global Movement

Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica and experienced the impacts of colonization at the hands of the British. As a result, he developed a passion for improving race relations and…


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Protesting the Birth of a Nation

In 1915, D.W. Griffith, released a film that would go down as one of the most disturbing representations of black Americans ever, The Birth of a Nation. Released post-Civil War…


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The Beginning of Black History: Juan Garrido

In the early 1500s, a West African man named Juan Garrido joined the ranks of Spanish explorers who ventured out in hopes of discovering new parts of the world. With their sights…


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Jackie Robinson Integrates Baseball

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson tore down the color barrier and became the first black baseball player to play in the Major League arena. His talent, education, and ability to…


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Soul Train

Taking cues from American Bandstand, Soul Train became a black cultural phenomena. Created and hosted by Don Cornelius, a Chicago radio reporter and DJ, the show was launched in…


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Hank Aaron: Breaking the Home Run Record

Born Henry Louis Aaron, baseball legend Hank Aaron swung his way into the history books in 1974. While the Atlanta Braves enjoyed the benefits of having the talented athlete on…


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Civil War and Emancipation

In 1861, the south’s threats of seceding the union led to the start of the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln’s primary goal was to minimize secession talks. But, as black…


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Fort Mose: The First All-Black Settlement in the U.S.

In this episode of Black History In Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., with additional commentary from Hasan Jeffries of Ohio State University, we will take a look…


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Land: Giving Rise to the Famous Phrase 40 Acres & a Mule

The phrase “40 acres and a mule” — a promise to former slaves — would be hatched from this meeting. Unfortunately, President Andrew Johnson would renege on this promise and many…


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The Red Summer

The events unfolding across the United States today in the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd, are an eerie repetition of events that marred the history of race relations…


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Lynching

Lynching was an action used to terrorize the black community for generations, with the first known public display of this injustice taking place in Madison, Mississippi in 1835.


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John Lewis: The Fight for the Right to Vote

In 1963, John Lewis’ excitement would meet his life’s purpose when he joined the Civil Rights Movement. He is now known as one of the greatest activists and change fighters to…


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The Black Press: From Freedom’s Journal to The Crisis, Ebony & Jet

White publications have sought to represent all voices in America since it’s discovery. But, in 1827, Samuel Cornish and John Russwurm joined forces and created the Freedom’s…


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First African American Patent Holders

Black inventors have made significant contributions in the name of not only advancing the American brand, but by way of breaking down a system that didn’t always allow for their…


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Black History in Two Minutes (or So) 2x Webby Award Winners: Voted People Voice Best Podcast Documentary Series

Black History in Two Minutes (or so) has been officially a TWO TIMES 2020 Webby Award winner. Voted by People's Voice as Best in the Podcast: Documentary Category. Honoring The…


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Robert F. Smith Delivers 5 Word ‘2020 Webby Awards’ Acceptance Speech

Black History in Two Minutes (or so) named a 2020 Webby Award winner in the Social: Education & Discovery (Video) Category. Watch Robert F. Smith delivers 5 word speech.


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Jack Johnson: Winner of the 1910’s ” Fight of the Century”

Jack Johnson entered the world ready to fight in the most non-conventional way. As the son of slaves, he worked many unskilled jobs, before transitioning into his career as a…


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Black Explorers

While history celebrates the explorations of many white voyagers, there are multiple black people who successfully explored sea, land, and space, and in many instances, are often…


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19th Century Black Discoveries

Black innovators and creators have a long history of studying the framework and exploring new ways of advancing modern technology. Take Lewis Latimer and Sarah Boone, for example.…


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The Black Church

Religion as we know it infiltrated the black community during slavery. While the objective leaned on pacifying slaves, black people rose against the negative narrative and…


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African American Higher Education

Opportunities for freed black children to further their educational journey after high school were limited. As a direct response to minimal options, black people began to seek…


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Abolition in the North | Elizabeth Freeman Sues for Freedom

Many people recognize the passage of the 13th Amendment as an end to slavery in the south. However, slavery was commonplace in all 13 colonies. Mum Bett, the slave of a…


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Frederick Douglass | The Most Photographed American of the 19th Century

Born into slavery as Frederick Douglass in 1818, this renowned lecturer and author would become one of the greatest public speakers of his time. After escaping slavery in 1838,…


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Katherine Johnson

Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Katherine Johnson is a powerhouse unlike any other. Entering college at the tender age of 15, Johnson’s advanced mathematical skill-set…


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Henrietta Lacks: The Woman with the Immortal Cells

In February 1951, a young African-American woman by the name of Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cervical cancer. Unbeknownst to her, cells from her…


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Ella Baker – ‘The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement’

After graduating from Shaw University, Ella Baker moved to New York City and began her career as a grassroots organizer. Joining the NAACP in 1940, the Virginia native assisted in…


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Black Feminism

Black women and their commitment to freedom and equality has often been minimized in history books. However, with black women standing at the front of each decade, the…


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The Harlem Hellfighters of World War I

After years of requesting an all-black unit in the National Guard, the governor of New York finally put the order into place. In January 1918, the all-black 369th Infantry…


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Black Power

In 1965, one of the last traceable remnants of Jim Crow ideology were thought to be taken off the books with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Despite the implementation of…


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The Civil Rights Movement

The civil rights movement was an organized effort where African-Americans united and rallied to put black progressiveness at the forefront of a nation that sought to minimize and…


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The Tuskegee Study

In 1932 the United States Public Health Service commissioned a study on the effects of untreated syphilis. 600 poor black men from Alabama were selected to be a part of the study…


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The Harlem Renaissance

With a Jim Crow south alive and well, many black Americans migrated north. This migration resulted in the formation of a creative urban hub in Harlem, New York, and the Harlem…


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Affirmative Action

President Lyndon B. Johnson made it clear that a shift was greatly needed in America. No longer could we preach about a land of opportunity, when minorities didn’t have the same…


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The Birth of Jazz

Born in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana, jazz made its way onto the scene. With African-Americans at the helm, the red-light district housed this new genre of music and…


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The Double V Campaign of World War II

The Double V Campaign was launched by a prominent black newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier, in 1942. The campaign came in response to buzz generated from a letter written by a…


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Jesse Jackson’s Run for the Presidency (1984)

In 1983, Reverend Jesse Jackson launched his bid for president of the United States. This announcement sparked excitement from people who had grown to adore the Civil Rights…


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The Birth of the Black Panthers

Electrified by the rhetoric of Malcolm X, founding members Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale created an organization aimed at protecting the Black community from racism and violence.…


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The L.A. Riots

Despite footage of police officers beating the late Rodney King in 1991, justice, for many in South Central Los Angeles, was not served. The acquittal of four white Los Angeles…


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Martin Luther King Jr. – Was his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech Improvised?

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s influence was large, perhaps his greatest legacy came when he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963.


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Malcolm X – How Did He Inspire a Movement?

After joining the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X became known as a human rights activist whose teachings led the charge of black progression during the latter parts of the 1960s.


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Booker T. Washington

In 1872, Booker T. Washington traveled 500 miles on foot to the Hampton Institute in Virginia. That journey, in turn, laid the foundation — not only for his own education — but…


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Shirley Chisholm – The First Black Congresswoman

Shirley Chisholm is a political icon who paved the way for politics as we know it today. As an active participant for women’s rights and the Civil Rights Movement, her presence…


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Robert Smalls: A Slave Who Sailed Himself to Freedom….

Robert Smalls was born into slavery and pushed into fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War. However, at the age of 23, he took a chance to not only free him and his…


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Freedman’s Bank

In 1865, after the north won the Civil War, the government opened the Freedman’s Bank. This institution was geared towards nearly four million, newly freed black people. The…


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Sojourner Truth: ‘Oprah’s No. 1 Black History Heroine’

Isabella Baumfree was born into slavery in the late 18th century. Despite this, she’d go on to prove that enslavement was only a state of mind. She escaped slavery and landed in…


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Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman is one of the greatest freedom fighters to exist. Enslaved and enraged, Tubman committed to not only freeing herself, but she created a system that would…


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