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North America

Timeline of African American history

Please note that the words “coloured” and “negroes” were used by people in the past to describe African Americans. These terms are not in acceptable use today.


Slaves working on a plantation in Virginia, 1670Slaves working on a plantation in Virginia, 16701619 A Dutch ship brings 20 Africans, who were taken as prizes from a Spanish ship, ashore at the English colony of Jamestown, Virginia, where they become servants. At least one eventually becomes a landowner in the colony. 

In a televised ceremony on 2nd July 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law using 75 pens. He presented one of the pens to Martin Luther King, who counted it among his most prized possessions.

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