The North Kenwood/Oakland Charter School Presents
A Gateway to African American History





Art and Artists

General Sources

The Slave Trade     

From the Civil War to the  
Twentieth Century    

African American Life  
from 1900-1940   

The Struggle for Rights:  

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Affirmative Action  One of the biggest questions today is:  Should groups of people (like African Americans and women) who have been deprived of the chance to get ahead in the past be given special opportunities to get ahead now?  For some time there have been rules to do that.  Those rules have caused a lot of argument.

The Digital Divide  New times bring new problems.  Today it is crucial that young African Americans develop the skills needed for life in a computerized world.

Louis Farrakahan   Leader of the Nation of Islam and powerful spokesman for the concept of a separatist, non-Christian vision for black America.  He was organizer of the Million Man March.  On the other hand, his frequent anti-Jewish statements made him a very controversial figure.  He lives just a few blocks from our school. 

Jesse Jackson  For almost 40 years, Jesse Jackson has been one of the most important figures in American politics and race relations.  A lieutenant to Dr. King, he founded  Operation PUSH and the Rainbow Coalition made a run for the presidency.  Jesse lives in Chicago and Operation PUSH has its headquarters just a few blocks from our school. 

Michael Jordan The only people who don't know him are in galaxies far, far away. He is one of a few "greats" who made race seem irrelevant. 

Million Man March  Organized by Louis Farrakahan as a "day of reflection and atonement" where black men could re-affirm their commitment to moral values, it grew to enormous size as a symbol for the whole African American community. 

The Pardon of Henry Flipper, an example of past wrongs righted.  Henry Flipper was the first African American Graduate of West Point.  He suffered the "silent treatment" while there and after he graduated was railroaded out of the army for a crime he didn't commit.  In 1999 President Clinton pardoned him. 

Colin Powell  The first African American to be head of America's armed forces and the first to have serious consideration for the presidency.

Reparations for Slavery   Recently the question has been seriously debated whether African Americans should be compensated for the damages suffered by their ancestors through slavery.

The Resegregation of American Schools  A study by Harvard professors showing that in recent years segregation has again become the norm in American schools.   This excellent work would be hard for elementary school students to read.

Clarence Thomas  Justice of the Supreme Court.  He was appointed to take the place of Thurgood Marshall on the Court and has since become the most highly placed black man to oppose affirmative action and other areas traditionally supported by African Americans. 

Harold Washington, first African American mayor of Chicago Harold Washington was one of a number of black mayors elected in this period.  He lived in Hyde Park and was buried in the Oak Woods Cemetery, just blocks from our school.  Young artists have honored him with a huge Mural at 57th and Harper, also near our school.