DATES FOR MAJOR AFRICAN EVENTS
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Below: 1500 CE to 2000 CE
1504 The fall of Soba, capital of the Christian kingdom of Alwa [Alwa covers most of Southern Sudan, north Uganda, south-west Ethiopia, north-west Kenya, north-east Congo, and part of the Central African Republic] and ; the beginning of the Islamic Funj Sultanate at Sennar under King Amara Dunqas.
1509 Bartolome de Las Casas the Roman Catholic Bishop at Chiapas, proposes that each Spanish settler to America should bring a certain number of slaves. This proposal marks the start of the massive genocidal Transatlantic African slave trade.
1510 At the battle of Table Bay (SA), the Khokhoi defeat and kill the belligerent Portuguese admiral and aristocrat, Dom Franscisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese viceroy in India. King Ferdinard of Spain authorized the purchase of 250 African slaves in Lisbon for his territories in New Spain.
Sept. 29, 1512 A company of about 30 families, led by a "Count Anthonius" arrives in Stockholm, Sweden claiming that they came from "Little Egypt". This is the earliest record of Gypsies (Gypsy is short for "egyptian"). In subsequent years Gypsies suffer all kinds of indignities, including expulsion, torture, branding and murders. The origins are disputed even as more people turn up all over Europe who are identified as Gypsies. The first anti-Gypsy laws are passed in Holland and Portugal in 1526. In 1530 the first law expelling Gypsies from England is introduced. Henry VIII forbids the transportation of Gypsies into England. The fine is forty pounds for ship's owner or captain. The Gypsy passengers are punished by hanging. In 1525 Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, issues an edict in Holland ordering all those that call themselves Egyptians (Gypsy) to leave the country within two days. In 1554 during the reign of Philip and Mary, an Act is passed which decrees that that the death penalty shall be imposed for being a Gypsy, or anyone who "shall become of the fellowship or company of Egyptians." Today Gypsies are formally known as Romani.
1514 Antonio Fernandez finds gold in Shona country, and declares the land fit for European habitation, regardless of the fact that it is already inhabited by Africans.
1517 Selim I, ruler of the Turkish empire, captures Cairo and adds title of Caliph to that of Sultan.
1518 License to import 4,000 African slaves to Spanish American Colonies is granted to Lorens de Gominot.
1519 Turks under Selim I occupy Algeria.
1526 In what is now the Carolinas, Spaniards put kidnapped Africans to work as slaves.
1532 A Spanish professor questions Pope Clement's 'giving' of the New World to Spain on the grounds that its people are neither civilized nor Roman Catholic; heretics, he argued, are not denied property in Europe unless deprived of it by individual trial, therefore the people of the new continents are true owners of their land. Other early trials of law also upheld aboriginal and incumbent rights, declaring that 'discoverers' might have exclusive opportunities to purchase such lands, but not to take them unless after a formal state of war. In spite of such rational thinking in Europe the actions of Spain and then France and England is that vanquished races had no rights save those conceded by their victors.
1534 Barbarossa, commander of an enhanced Turkish fleet, captures Tunis which commands the narrow seas between Sicily and Africa, from the African rulers who governed as vassals of Spain. Unknown to Spain and the Holy Roman Empire the French provided arms to the Turkish army.
1535 Charles V (1500-1558), the Holy Roman Emperor (1519-1556) and King of Spain and Italy raised an army of 10,000 with 400 ships to recapture Tunis from the Turks. The siege of Tunis results in the capture of 82 Turkish ships and a vast number of Christian slaves. Barbarossa and some of his army escaped. Spain failed to follow and fully destroy the Turkish army because they discovered the French arms and feared a French attack if the army ventured too far into the field.
1540 The bubonic plague starts in Egypt.
1545 The Spanish Council of Trent (1545-1563) is called by Pope Paul III, makes the use of saints names for Christian baptism mandatory. The Protestants resist this "saints" rule and instead baptise with names selected from the Old Testament Bible. The Council of Trent (published in 1563) required marriage be conducted in a church, by a priest, and before two witnesses to be valid and binding.
1550-1600 Shuwa Arabs migrate into what is now Central Chad.
1560-1625 massive drought similar to the one that struck between 1390 and 1420 returns to Africa devastating communities and the environment. Lakes dry up, including Lake Malawi and Chad.
1562 England under Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) began selling Africans to work for the Spanish in America. John Hawkins carried his first human cargo this year.
1567 On the advice of Pope Pius V (1566-1572) and the Archbishop of Granada, Emperor Philip II (1556-1598) of Spain issued an edict to forbid all Moorish customs. All Arabic books are to be collected, artificial baths are forbidden. Moorish houses must open the doors to their homes during marriage feasts, on Fridays and on Holy Days of the Spanish Church to observe any Moorish practices. This edict would lead to civil war. The Spanish Moors believed they could raise a 100,000 man army from its 85,000 households and 15,000 from the Turks, Arabs and Moors from beyond the sea.
1568 The Spanish civil war saw the massacre of the priests and their women and children are sold as slaves to Africa in exchange for arms and munitions. The Spanish troops wandered the land plundering and kidnapping Black or Amazhig (Berber) or Arab women to sell as slaves. The rebellion by the Spanish Muslim's is crushed by King Philip II of Spain who also ordered the dispersal of the Moslem population of Andalusia to all parts of Castile. Granada is depopulated and repopulated with genuine Old Christians. Henceforth any male moors and moriscos (christian moors) over age 16 found within 10 leagues of the province of Granada is to be killed and any female over nine and one half is to be sold into slavery. About 60,000 Spanish had lost their lives during the war. The Moors are not allowed to leave their house without permission. They were dispersed among the Christians and forced to attend Christian schools.
1569-73 A Portuguese military expedition into the Zambezi River Valley results in the loss of 800 of 1000 soldiers.
1573 Pope Gregory XIII issues a papal bull forbidding the admission to Holy Orders of the descendants of Jews to the fourth generation, annd the decree is extended to include the Moors.
1573-1580 Saifawa Dynasty Empress Aissa Kili N'guirmamaramama rules empire of Kanem Bornu, consisting of all of modern Chad, a large part of Niger, northern Nigeria, Central African Republic, Libya, west Sudan and western Egypt.
1574-5 A 400-strong Portuguese military expedition into Zambezi valley loses 200 men.
1585-6 Ali Bey organizes the first northern Swahili resistance against the Portuguese.
1588-9 Ali Bey led a second campaign of resistance against Portugal.
1589 The Portuguese sacked Mombasa again and took control of the northeastern coastal cities
1593-4 Work begins on Fort Jesus at Mombasa. The Portuguese build a customs house at Mombasa.
1597-9 The first Augustinian monastery is established at Mombasa. The Portuguese begin to occupy Fort Jesus, although construction continued into the 1630s
1608-18 Several Portuguese expeditions into central and southern Africa fail to find gold and silver.
1618-48 The Thirty Years War ends the ability of the Portuguese government to support further expansion in East Africa.
1619 20 Africans travelling in Dutch ships arrive in Jamestown, Virginia, to work as indentured servants.
1623-1629 Nyambo Kapararidze is last emperor of Mwene-Mutapa Dynasty. In 1628 Nyambo tries to reunite the Shona people by starting a war to expel the Portuguese. Portuguese aid a rival Monomotapa (or Mwene Mutapa) named Mavura to overthrow Nyambo Kapararidze.
1630 The Bani Hassan community of Yemen crosses into Africa and settles in present-day Mauretania. The Bani Hassan leader Siyyid ibn Ahmad becomes ruler of the over the Emirate of Trarza.
1631 Sultan of Mombasa renounces Catholicism and kills most of the Portuguese garrison at Fort Jesus. A new Portuguese garrison arrives the following year.
c. 1635-1655 Abdul-Karim establishes Wadai Sultanate to the southeast of Kanem-Bornu (south/central Chad and Darfur in Sudan).
1641 Massachusetts becomes theAmerican colony to declare enslavement of Africans legal.
1650s Sea-borne Omani Arabs aid revolt against the Portuguese in the city-states of coastal East Africa.
1652 The first European colonists sent to South Africa by the Dutch East India Company, a trading firm. Many of the colonists became farmers.
1653 Timbuktu's most eminent scholar, 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sadi, writes the Tarikh al-Sudan that traces the history and society of Timbuktu from its founding until the time of writing.
1663 Death of Autshumato, Khoikhoi leader who became an interpreter for Europeans passing by the Cape after 1631 and an intermediary between them and the Khoikhoi once a Dutch settlement was established in 1652. He went to Java in 1631-2 and returned to the Cape. He became the first person to be imprisoned on Robben island (in 1658), from which he and his followers escaped after a year and a half.
1680 Virginia passes the "Act for Prevention of Negro Insurrections" that prohibits blacks from carrying clubs, sticks, or arms of any kind. A black person who raises a hand in opposition to a Christian can be punished with 30 lashes.
1684-96 Opponents of Mavura founded a new state (Changamire) and overthrow Mutapa dynasty.
1688 Quakers and Mennonites in Pennsylvania protest against slavery.
1699 Fort Jesus falls after 33-month siege. 1000 Portuguese and some 5000 Swahili allies and residents die during the siege..
1701 Asante Confederation established.
1735 Rwandan troops sack Bunyampaka (in modern Uganda), the capital of the abaShambo state of Ndorwa. Ndorwa disintegrates into the kingdoms of Nkore, Shongora, Buhweju, and Karagwe in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
Sept 9, 1739 In the Stono Rebellion, hundreds of African slaves revolt near Charleston, South Carolina, killing white masters and burning plantations. 60 people, including 35 slaves, are killed.
1746 Malachy Postlewayt justfies Britain's participation in slave trade by showing how essential it is to Britain's economy: "The Negro-trade...and the natural consequences resuilting from it, may be justly esteemed an inexhaustible fund of wealth and naval power to this nation...What renders the Negroe-trade still more estimable and important, is, that near nine-tenth of those Negroes are paid for in Africa...We send no specie or bullion to pay for the products of Africa, but tis certain, we bring from thence very large quantities of gold; and not only that but wax and ivory...".
1760-1820Drought more severe than any in the twentieth century devastates Africa. Massive crop failure, extremely dry conditions and massive social unrest, coupled with slavery, causes drastic depopulation and displacement. High solar radiation is thought to have caused this drought, as well as two prior droughts in 1390 and 1560.
1775 Black soldiers fight in the American revolutionary War until the Continental Army -pressured by George Washington - rules to exclude blacks from service. On April 14, 1775, the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery is founded. It is the first abolitionist organization in America.
1779 A group of 20 blacks in New Hampshire - including Prince Whipple, who had crossed the Delaware river in 1776 in the same boat with George Washington - requested that the state restore their freedom. They call themselves "natives of Africa" who had been "born free".
1789 Olauda Equiano, a freedman, publishes his biography in which he explains the profound differences between American slavery and "slavery" in Africa, in order to dispell the myth that American slavery was "normal" or familiar to Africans in their homeland. Equiano explained that unlike in America, African slaves were in fact convicted of some crime or had become prisoners of war, and slavery was punishment. Innocent people were not to be subjected to slavery. Moreover, African slaves were not required to work more than other members of the community, could not be beaten by their masters whim, and that their food clothing and lodging were indistinguishable from that of the master. In fact African slaves could own slaves, and African slavery was largely a distinction of social status demanding deferrence rather than one of economic exploitation entailing physical and verbal abuse as in America.
1792 The sailing of the 15 ships from Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) for Sierra Leone causes the end of Birchtown as a viable Black community. Founded in 1783, Birchtown was the largest settlement of free Blacks in North America, a phenomenon which was noted in the newspapers of the time in New York and London.
Feb 12, 1793 The American Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Act which requires the return of escaped slaves to their owners even if they fled their state.
July, 1798 General Napoleon, invades Egypt and captures Cairo.
1800-1897 Madagascar is dominated by Empresses of the Merina Dynasty.
1805-1849 Khedive Mehemet Ali, Albanian cavalry officer rules Egypt.
Jan 1, 1808 The US outlaws importation of slaves, although the practice will continue illegaly and unenforced.
1816-1828 Shaka son of Senzagakona is king of the amaZulu
1818 Frederick Douglass is born. He is to become the most important advocate for the abolition of discrimination against Africans. He had a decisive influence on Abraham Lincoln and is hailed as one of the great moral voices of the 19th century.
1820 Collapse of the state of Funj in what is now The Sudan. In southern Africa, Makanna, leader of the Ndhlambis who led a revolt against the Dutch colonists, dies while trying to escape imprisonment.
1820s Khedive Mehemet Ali, invaded the Upper Nile Valley.
c. 1820-1830s Vortrekker migrations into central South Africa. Extermination of the Ghonaqua nation (also known as the Ghona tribe). This tribe, which formerly inhabited the country between the Keisi and Camtoos rivers, is now extinct.
1827 Freedm's Journal, the first African-American newspaper is published.
1829 David Walker, a black shopkeeper in Boston publishes the most widely circulated and inflammatory Pan African antislavery document titledAppeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World that exhorts enslaved Africans to armed resistance. "Kill or be killed," he wrote. "The man who would not fight...in the glorious and heavenly cause of freedom...ought to be kept with all his children or family, in slavery, or chains, to be butcherd by his cruel enemies." The pamphlet incites Nat Turner's uprising. Walker was found dead on the street near his home in 1830. Cause of death was undetemined.
1830 Extinction of the Gunja (also known as the Gunjaman) tribe of Hottentots. The Gunja lived where Cape Town now stands, and it was the Gunja who first ceded to the Dutch East India Company a tract of their country. Thunberg, who travelled in 1773, remarks that, in his time, this tribe was nearly extinct. The National Negro Convention is held in Philadelphia in September 1830. By now 300,000 free blacks live in the US.
Aug 1831 Nat Turner leads the largest slave insurrection ever in the US. His band murders57 whitesin Virginia. More than 100 blacks are killed.
1832 Edward Blyden is born, in the West Indies. He was educated in Liberia, became a Presbyterian minister, professor and statesman; Blyden is considered to be the foremost African intellectual of the 19th century. Robert July writes: “Only one man in 19th century Africa was able to see the [African] problem in its entirety and this man was Edward W. Blyden. It was Blyden who tried and succeeded in fashioning a total philosophy of Africanness which not only had great appeal for his contemporaries, but for future generations of Africans as well. It was Blyden who re-established the psychic and emotional sense of security of the African in the face of Europe’s intrusion with a brilliance that foreshadowed to a remarkable degree African thinking in the mid 20th century . . .”
1834 Slavery is abolished in the British Empire.
1841 Africans who revolted on Amistad, a ship carrying captives for sale, are tried for murder and piracy. Cinqe, leader of the revolt, has exceptional intellect and organises the legal defense. He recruits former US president John Adams to defend them in front of the US supreme Court, which rules justifiable homicide, frees Cinque and the others and provides transport for their return to Africa.
March 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe's antislavery novelUncle Tom's Cabin is published. It becomes the biggest selling novel of the 19th century.
1845 In his biographic narrative, Frederick Douglass, an exceptionally talented orator and political organizer, repudiates the bigoted thought that people of African descent are intellectually inferior.
1852-1900 Duration of the Orange Free State republic in central South Africa.
1854 Theodore Canot, a slave trader, records in his Adventures of an African Slaver that during one voyage he lost nearly 40% of his human cargo to disease: "The eight hundred beings we had shipped in high health [from Africa] had dwindled to four hundred and ninety-seven skeletons.
1858 Cape Colony Governor Sir George Grey articulates the need for a southern African federation because, as separate states, the European communities are too weak to stop African resistance. He advocates a uniform "native" policy to protect Europeans.
April 1859 Work began on the Suez Canal.
1860-1865 U. S. Civil war creates demand for Egyptian cotton.
January 1, 1863 Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation freeing Africans slaves.
April 14, 1865 President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated in Washington DC.
1867 Diamonds are discovered at Hope Creek (a tributary of the Orange River).
Feb. 1868 W.E.B Du Bois is born. He will become the leading Pan Africanist since ancient times. He founded many organizations including the Pan African Congresses. His achievements place him among the greatest influences on world history and certainly on Africa and the African diaspora. He helped to construct the modern identity of Africans.
1868 Britain annexes Basutoland, ostensibly to protect it from Boer aggression.
1873 The Quagga (pronounced quaha, or quacha) is exterminated. The quagga is a southern African equine quadruped (Equus or Hippotigris Quagga), related to the ass and the zebra, but less stripped than the zebra. The cry of the quagga is distinct, and very different from that of either the horse or the ass.
1875 Bombay (Mumbai in India) Africans return to form settlement at Freretown, outside Mombasa.
Jan 22 1879 Dispute over land (Sir Bartle Frere's attempt to win Boer favor by annexing Zulu territory) sparks a battle between the Zulu army under king Cetshwayo at Isandhlwana. 1800 British troops of the 24th Regiment and auxillaries are defeated and killed the fighting.
1879 The United Africa Company (UAC) is founded by George Taubman Goldie, to organize small trading firms along the Lower Niger River.
1880 Cecil Rhodes founds the De Beers Consolidated Mining Company which takes control of the diamond mining industry in the Orange Free State.
1882 An indigenous revolt in the Egyptian Army threatens British interests in the Suez canal. The British attack Alexandria then defeat the Egyptian Army at Tel-el-Kebir, reluctantly taking governmental control of the country. Several important investors joined the UAC and changed its name to National African Company (NAC). Meanwhile two French companies began to trade on the Lower Niger River in competition with the NAC. The British and French reached a settlement for the "Southern Rivers" region between Sierra Leone and Guinea.
1884 Gold is discovered at the Rand, a mountain in Boer Transvaal. General Charles Gordon is sent to pacify the Mahdist in North East Africa but becomes besieged in Khartoum. A relief column of British and Canadian troops arrives late and is unable to save Gordon, and without the resources to continue the fight, leaves the Sudan to the Mahdi's successor, the Caliph.
Nov. 15, 1884 - Feb. 26, 1885 13 European States and the USA divide Africa amongst themselves at the Berlin West Africa Conference. In the agreement is a provision that requires Europeans to occupy the land they claim in Africa. Leading European states declare "protectorates" over all of Africa.
February 1885 Opponents of imperialism began to openly challenge the prime minister in the British Parliament.
1887 Marcus Mossiah Garvey is born in Jamaica.
February 1885 - Dec 1886 European army officers, missionaries, government agents, and agents of trading companies obtain fraudulent treaties by force, and by deception from Africans. After buying out its French competitors, the NAC recieves royal charter and changes its name to the Royal Niger Company, becomes the first of the British chartered companies in Africa. These treaties are used to justify military occupation of Africa by the troops of states that are party to the Berlin West Africa Treaty. In 1886 Joseph Chamberlain, Conservative politician ends opposition to imperialism after visiting Egypt. In Oct. 1886 France and Britain settled East African land claims.
1890 The French conquer Segou in the Middle Niger Valley. Karl Peters, German explorer collected treaties around Lake Victoria. France recognizes British Protectorate over Zanzibar, and Britain recognizes French claims in Madagascar. IBEAC nearly bankrupt from failed plantation schemes. Frederick Lord Lugard, arrived in Buganda to extend IBEAC influence. Anglo-German agreement recognized German Tanganyika. Anglo-German Colonial Agreement (aka "The Heligoland Treaty") recognized British claim in East Africa. White settlers in a column of over 100 wagons arrives in Zimbabwe from the South to exercise mineral rights fraudulently obtained by Cecil Rhodes..
1892 Ras Tafari is born. Later he will become Emperor Selasie and a leader of Pan African movement.
1893-1894 Third Anglo-Ashanti War.
1894 The French conquer Timbuktu.
1895 Frederick Douglass dies.
1896 The Matabele and Shona tribes unite in rebellion. The first Chimurenga (war of liberation) is extinguished by the end of the year and the settlers entrench themselves.
1897 A grand battle between the British and the Mahdhist forces, at Omdurman, outside Khartoum, breaks the power of the Caliph.
1898 Death of Mahdi ends revolt in the Sudan. The French capture Samori Toure to end resistance in the Upper Niger Valley. Members of the French expedition to Lake Chad commit atrocities as they pass through the Middle Niger Valley. France and Britain sign treaty that defines the border between Nigeria and Dahomey.
1899-1982 King Sobhuza II of Swaziland rules for 83 years.
March 21, 1899 French and British conclude a boundary agreement for territory in the Upper Nile Valley.
Oct. 9, 1899 Anglo-Boer War begins when the British ignore a Boer ultimatum against additional British troops in South Africa.
July 1900 William E.B. Du Bois speaks at the first Pan African Conference in London and predicts that "The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." Du Bois anticipates and inspires a world wide movement to achieve basic rights for most of the world.
Dec 1900 French capture the African resistance leader Rabah and end resistance around Lake Chad. British open the first concentration camps to "protect" non-combatants in Boer territory (mostly Boer families), but overcrowding turns them into death camps.
Sept. 26, 1901 British annex the Gold Coast.
1905 W.E.B DuBois becomes one of the founders of the Niagara Movement, seeking "full manhood suffrage".
1909 W.E.B DuBois, together with a multiracial group of activists, founds the National Negro Committee which is then renamed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP], and Du Bois serves as editor of its influential journal "The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races".
1911 Universal Congress of the Races in London
1914 Marcus Garvey founds the Universal Negro Improvement Association, and advocates emigration to Africa and the creation of a national government. UNIA quickly becomes the wealthiest and largest organization in the US, the Caribbean and Africa. Later UNIA declares Marcus Garvey the First Provisional President of Africa. The Church missions run by UNIA in Kenya organize the Mau Mau insurrection against the British occupation.
1915 Carter G. Woodson founds the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History to help eliminate misconceptions about blacks, and shortly after begins publication of >The Journal of Negro History.
1919 Cyril V. Briggs forms the African Blood Brotherhood, a militant black nationalist organization, in New York City. First Pan African Congress held in Paris.
1920 Declaration on the rights of Black people in the world, organized by Marcus Garvey in New York.
1921 Second Pan African Congress held in Paris, Brussels and London.
1923 Third Pan African Congress held in Lisbon and London.
1924 Universal League for the Defence of the Black Race, held in Paris, and organized by Marc Tovolu and Rene Maran.
1925 Malcolm X is born. His father Earl Little, a UNIA organizer is killed by white supremacists. Malcolm advocated African self-defense by "Any means necessary". He was involved in the efforts to establish the Organization of African Unity and on returning to the US formed the Organization of African-American Unity in June 1964.
1927 Fourth Pan African Congress, held in Newy York.
Jan 15, 1929 Martin Luther King Jr., is born. He will become the leader of the civil rights movement.
1930 Founding of the Negritude Movement by Leopold Senghor, Aime Cesaire and Leon Damas.
1930s Richard B. Moore, a Pan Africanist based in Harlem became leading cultural figure. He owned a bookstore and wrote for the journal Freedomways. He worked to discard the use of the word Negro, and argued that blacks were Africans in America.
Oct 3, 1935 Italian forces attack Abyssinia from Eritrea and Italian Somaliland. The Abyssinians boldly defended their territory for seven months against Italian air power and the widespread use of chemical weapons including mustard gas. The International African Friends of Abyssinia is formed to help in the struggle against the Italian fascists. Despite their efforts, Abyssinia was formally annexed by Italy on May 9, 1936.
Feb 19, 1937 After the unsuccessful assassination attempt against Italian Marshal Graziani, the top Italian official in Abyssinia and all of Africa, colonial authorities put to death 30,000 people, including about half of Abyssinia's elite.
1940 Marcus Garvey, founder of the United Negro Improvement Association, and the first Provisonal President of Africa, dies in London England.
1941 Creation of African Business Council in New York.
May 5, 1941 Hailie Salassie returned to Addis Ababa, after the defeat of the Italians by local guerrila forces and volunteer troops from all over Africa, supported by British forces.
1944 Pan African Federation founded in London. Muhumuza, last leader of the Nyabingi resistence movement dies in Uganda. The Nyabingi resistence was instrumental in redefining and reorganizing the Pan Africanist movement.
1945 The 5th Pan African Congress takes place at Manchester - three new African leaders emerge on the world stage, Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah and Wallace-Johnson of Sierra Leone, whereas W.E.B. Du Bois is elected the international president of the Congress. The Tanganyika African Association holds its third territorial conference and resolves to enroll all Africans, women and men, in the African Association, open branches in every town and district, and most importantly resolves "to safeguard the interests of Africans not only in this territory but in the whole of Africa". The TAA later went on to change its name to the Tanganyika African National Union in 1954, elect Julius Nyerere as party president, and win independence for Tanganyika.
1946 Rassemblement Democratic Africain is founded in Bamako, Mali.
Oct. 24, 1947 W.E.B. Du Bois addressing the UN on behalf of the NAACP, makes an appeal against racism in the US.
1949 Libya is granted independence by the UN.
1952 Sudanese Mohammed Naguib, leader of the Free Officers of the Egyptian army, overthrows Farouk king of Egypt in a revolution, ending British control. Effectively both Egypt and Sudan become independent states.
1953 Sixth Pan African Congress is held in Kumasi, Ghana.
1954 Richard Wright publishes "Black Power" about African blacks' efforts to grapple with the effects of colonialism.
1956 Gamal Abdel Nasser, captures and nationalises the Suez Canal, effectively ending British claims to the canal. Nasser funded and organized anti-colonial resistence efforts in occupied Africa, including the Simba Rebellion in the Congo. Nasser and Nkrumah developed a friendship and worked together to unite Africa. Morocco and Tunisia gain independence. First Congress of Black Writers and Artists held in Paris and organized by Societe Africaine de Culture, and Presence Africaine.
March 6, 1957 The Gold Coast achieves independence from Britain. Hundreds of Pan African leaders from around the world attend the ceremonies, including Martin Luther King, Ralph Bunch and Philip Randolf. The Gold Coast is renamed Ghana, and Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana's president) declares that Ghana's independence is meaningless unless we are able to use the freedom that goes with it to help other African people to be free and independent, to liberate the entire continent of Africa from foreign domination and ultimately' to establish a Union of African States."
Feb. 1958 Creation of the Parti Regroupment Africaine.
April 1958 First All-African Peoples Congress held in Accra, Ghana - Proposal to create Commonwealth of Independent African States.
Nov. 1958 The Ghana-Guinea Union is formed.
1959 Second Conference of Independent African States takes place in Monrovia, Liberia. Second Congress of Black Writers and Artists, Rome.
1960 Second All-African Peoples Congress takes place in Tunis. Third Conference of African States takes place in Addis Abeba.
June 1960 Creation of Mali Federation includes Senegal. Congo becomes independent with Lumumba as Prime Minister. There are no African officers in the Force Publique, and Belgian officers lose control of the striking troops. Congo becomes chaotic one week after independence. Prime Minister Lumumba appeals to the United Nations for assistance to restore order and to put down the secessionist forces based in the Province of Katanga and led by Tsombe. Independent Africa supports United Nations intervention and those in a position to do so contribute troops and policemen. Many volunteers from other African states go into the Congo to join the rebellion against the UN and NATO troops in the Congo. The threat of crises spreading to other African states causes African leaders to call for unification and political stability.
Dec. 1960 Creation of the Brazaville Group [which later became the African and Malagasy Union, and later still turned into the African and Malagasy Economic Cooperation Union, and finally the African and Malagasy Common Organization].
January 1961 The Union of Ghana-Guinea is expanded to included, Mali and renamed the Union of African States (UAS). The Union's Charter committs the three countries to a common foreign and defence policy, the defining of a common set of economic objectives, opposition to French nuclear testing in the Sahara and support for other African countries waging anti-colonial struggles and "the building up of African unity". Later in 1961, the UAS in is expanded to include Libya, Egypt, Morocco and the Algerian Front for National Liberation (FLN). The UAS became informally known as the Casablanca Group. Its Charter reiterated the objectives of the UAS and appealed to other independent African states to join the Group in a "common action for the consolidation of liberty in Africa and the building up of its unity and security".
May 1961 A rival grouping of African states- the Monrovia Group is formed. The Monrovia Group includes the states of Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo. The objectives of the Monrovia Group are the same as those of the Casablanca Group, with the exception that the Monrovia Group wanted gradual economic integration before unification. The Casablanca Group demands immediate political unification which would then assure economic integration.
1963 Organization of African Unity, that includes all of Africa's independent states, is formed with the mission to liberate Africa from colonial occupation and Apartheid. The OAU, a compromise between the gradualist Monrovia Group and the federalist Casablanca Group, has both the characteristics of an intergovernmental organization and a federation of states. The Empire of Abyssinia is renamed Ethiopia in tribute to Pan Africanism. White supremacist bombing of a church in Alabama, USA, kills four young African girls. On his ninety-fifth birthday in 1963, W. E. B. Du Bois received an honorary degree from the University of Ghana in Accra. Six months later, on August 27, Du Bois died on the eve of the March on Washington. Martin Luther King, Jr., eulogized the great Du Bois during that pivotal event in the U. S. Civil Rights Movement.
1965 Malcolm X, a leading Pan Africanist and founder of the Organization of African-American Unity is shot and killed in New York City. Police in the US arrest three male members of the Black Liberation Front and one French Canadian woman for ploting to blow up the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, and the Washington Monument. The year was restless and violent as African Americans became more militant. Martin Luther King led 50,000 people in a march through Montgomery, Alabama. Television screens around the world showed horrifying images of police brutalizing blacks in America, using dogs, horses, guns, fire hoses, batons and tear gas to disperse protesters. US president Johnson addressing a joint session of Congress requests the passage of a bill to allow blacks to vote.
1966 The phrase "Black Power" enters the vocabulary of the international media when Stokely Carmichael called for a more militant response to white domination. Carmichael was born in Trinidad, and raised in New York. He made the call for Black Power while leading a march jointly with Martin Luther King, and is credited with having compelled King to use the word Black instead of Negro. He married Miriam Makeba and after his passport had been revoked by the US government went to live in Africa, where he taught school in Tanzania and other states.
October 1966 The Black Panther Party is founded. The Panther's list of demands states that they want "..land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, and peace. And as our major political objective, a United Nations-supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the black colony (meaning the USA) in which only black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate for the purpose of determining the will of black people as to their national destiny."
1967 Publication of Harold Cruse's The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. Cruse argued for an independent black cultural reawakening. He believed Africans in America had been robbed of their cultural identity by their ostensible "friends" on the left, including Marxists and pro-integrationist liberals. He envisioned a self-sufficient black community, free from the dictates of even the most well-meaning whites. Cruse's work contributed to the creation of black studies departments at universities across the USA.
April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis Tennessee. News of his assassination caused a massive insurrection by African Americans and caused violent clashes, riots, and burning and looting in more than 120 cities including Washington DC. President Johnson deployed tens of thousands of troops in cities, where they set up curfews and occupied African neighbourhoods. Memorials were held throughout the world. Johnson called for a day of morning and convened the Congress to organize a positive response to the events.
Oct. 16, 1968 In one of the 20th century's most powerful and controversial moments in sports, and a watershed event in the civil rights movement. After failing to convince their fellow black athletes to boycott the Mexico City 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith and John Carlos succeeded in winning the gold and bronze medals in the 200 meters track & field event. Determined to use the grand stage of the Olympic games as a platform for protest, Smith and Carlos accepted their medals in bare feet (to bring attention to the poverty of the African-American community), wearing beads (in honor of the countless blacks murdered as victims of slavery or racism), and holding black-gloved fists in the air (the "Black Power" salute). A storm of outrage hit Smith and Carlos immediately. For disrespecting the "Star Spangled Banner" and the Olympic games, the IOC forced the U.S. Olympic Committe to withdraw them from the relays, banish them from the Olympic Village, strip their medals and expel them from the U.S. Olympic team. Most of white America was also outraged at their actions, and both men experienced a heavy backlash upon their return home. Nonetheless, their legend has grown, and their action has become a symbol of the struggle for equality.
April 26, 1969 Civil rights leaders James Forman issues the "Black Manifesto", demanding that US churches and synagogues pay $500 million for slave reparations. About $500,000 was collected and used primarily to fund Black Star Publications, a black publishing house.
Dec. 9, 1971 Leading Pan-Africanist Ralph Bunche dies. He had served as United Nations mediator and successfully negotiated an end to the first Arab-Israeli War in 1948. His role in this 1949 truce won him the Nobel Peace Prize. He later oversaw U.N. peacekeeping missions to the Suez Canal, Congo, and Cyprus. He served as a board member for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for 22 years. In the last decade of his life, he actively supported the civil rights movements, marching in Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, when he was 61 years old.
1974Polish craniologists revealed that no fewer than 13.5% of the skeletons from the pre-Columbian Olmec cemetery of Tlatilco were Negroid.
19752 Negroid skeletons were found in the U.S. Virgin Islands. One wore a pre-Columbian Indian wrist band. They were found in layers dated to about A.D. 1250.
Feb. 11, 1990 Anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela is released from prison after nearly 28 years of imprisonment in South Africa. Mandela became an international symbol of the struggle for black liberation and universal human rights.
Apr. 6, 1994 Aircraft with presidents of Rwanda and Burundi aboard shot down, triggering worlds fasted genocide with nearly 2,000,000 members of the Tutsi, Hutu and Twa communities killed in 100 days. In defiance of UN orders to withdraw, troops from Ghana, Tunisia and Senegal under OAU mandate save thousands of lives in Rwanda.
Aug. 1996 African Unification Front is formed with a mandate to mobilize and secure the unity and sovereignty of Africa.
March 1997Mwalimu Julius Nyerere makes a speech in Accra on the 40th anniversary of Ghana's independence: "Africa must unite. This was the title of one of Kwame Nkrumah's books. That call is more urgent today than ever before. Together, we the peoples of Africa will be incomparably stronger internationally than we are now with our multiplicity of unviable states. The needs of our separate countries can be, and are being ignored by the rich and powerful. The result is that Africa is marginalised. ... Unity will not make us rich, but it can make it difficult for Africa and the African peoples to be disregarded and humiliated. ... My generation led Africa to political freedom. The current generation of leaders and peoples of Africa must pick up the flickering torch of African freedom, refuel it with their enthusiasm and determination, and carry it forward."
Nov. 1997 Italian president Oscar Luigi Scalfaro visits Ethiopia - the first Italian leader to do so since the occupation - and expresses his country's regret over the 1936 invasion and five-year occupation of Ethiopia. He describes the occupation as a "mistake" and acknowledged his country's "mistakes and guilt" for attacking Ethiopia and violating the human rights of its people.
Aug. 1998 Thabo Mbeki, Deputy President of South Africa, makes a call for African Renascence. In a series of historic documents and speeches across the continent, Mbeki says that economic growth and political order in Africa are dependent on the restoration of African self-esteem, and "the rebirth of Africa and its diaspora" which will be brought about by the "rediscovery of our soul", captured and made permanently available in the great works of African creativity, including Africa's ancient civilisations, African music and African art.