History

Rosa Parks. Black woman in Barbie doll form and a black and white photo.

Barbie Debuts Rosa Parks Doll

“We hope girls will be inspired to pursue their dreams.”

Althea Gibson. Black and white photo of Black woman dressed in white playing tennis.

New Statue Honors Tennis Great Althea Gibson

“In our sport of tennis, she was the one that really broke the color barrier. She is the Jackie Robinson of tennis.”

"Touching History." Black person dressed in white protective gear works on the floor restoring a window.

HBCU Students Help Restore Historic Sites Tied to Black Activism

Touching History: Preservation in Practice is a partnership between HBCUs, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Park Service (NPS) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Black pilgrims. A group of Black people with heads down and hands up in prayer.

Descendants of Enslaved Visit Ghana to Memorialize Kidnapped Ancestors

Four hundred years after the forced arrival of 20 Africans in what would become the United States, hundreds of descendants traveled from Jamestown Virginia to the Jamestown district of Accra, Ghana.

"The 1619 Project." White text on a black background.

The 1619 Project Centers the Enslaved, Rethinks Story of America

“It aims to reframe the country’s history…placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

Sleep Brown and Big Boi. FunkJazz Kafe Festival.

Jason Orr On How Black Music Can Change the World

As the FunkJazz Kafe Arts and Music Festival celebrates 25 years, founder Jason Orr talks to Colorlines about music, Black culture and why it’s important to live beyond labels.

Melissa McKinnies and Danye Jones. Black woman and Black boy sit next to each other and smile.

Activist Melissa McKinnies on the Mike Brown Rebellion—And the Lynching of Her Son Danye

Melissa McKinnies was a Ferguson uprising fixture. It’s for this reason that the St. Louis mother believes that one of her sons was lynched in their backyard. Here are her words.

Idris Elba. Black man with short dark hair wearing dark gray jacket, black shirt and black tie.

Idris Elba Leads All-Star Cast for Black Cowboys Movie

The true story of Philadelphia’s “Concrete Cowboys” gallops onto the big screen.

Michael Brown Jr. A drawing of a Black boy wearing headphones on a brown background

Missing Mike-Mike: Michael Brown Sr. Reflects on the 5 Years Since His Son Became a Political Symbol

Before Michael Brown Jr. became an international symbol of racialized police violence, he was an 18-year-old who cracked jokes, made music and planned for his future. Here, a deeply personal reflection by his dad on the fifth anniversary of his killing.

Black person in dark top holds copy of Ebony high in their left hand. The cover features Barack Obama and reads "In our lifetime."

Foundations Unite to Purchase Ebony and Jet Archives

“This archive is a national treasure and one of tremendous importance to the telling of Black history in America.”

Cynthia Erivo and Janelle Monáe. Two Black women dressed in 1800s-styled clothing and holding a gun.

Watch the Trailer for 'Harriet'

The iconic abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor hits the big screen.

Mauna Kea protestors. Black and white image of crowd with main shot of man with back to camera.

WATCH: The 50-Year History of Mismanagement at Hawai'i's Mauna Kea

In just six minutes, this film provides context for the recent protests at the sacred site.

Colorful covers of six books.

#ColorlinesReads: 6 Books That Complicate the Idea of 'Independence'

In lieu of celebrating “Independence Day,” we present a selection of titles that explore the idea of liberation via the lives, poetry, history and art of people of color.

Three Native American men from the Sioux Tribe wearing Ghost Dance costumes.

Bill Seeks to Rescind Medals Awarded Following Wounded Knee Massacre

“The Medal of Honor is the highest decoration that can be awarded to a U.S. military service member, and it should not be used to legitimize the massacre of innocent civilians.”

Black and white photo of Native American woman with four children, outside

California Governor Apologizes to Native Americans for Genocide

Gavin Newsom: “We can never undo the wrongs inflicted on the peoples who have lived on this land that we now call California since time immemorial, but we can work together to build bridges, tell the truth about our past and begin to heal deep wounds.”

A White man brands an enslaved African woman

Even More on Reparations: Watch This Forum Featuring Leading Activists, Live

The ACLU-sponsored gathering includes Dr. Ron Daniels, convener of National African American Reparations Commission, Kamm Howard, a co-chairperson of NCOBRA, Danny Glover and more. 

Sheila Jackson Lee. Black woman with goddess braid crown in yelow jacket with black and white details sits behind a microphone.

LIVESTREAM: House Hearing on Reparations

The House Committee on the Judiciary hears testimony on the path to restorative justice for Black people in America.

the back of a couple laying on the beach with a multicolored quilt covering them

On Loving Day, a Call to Decolonize Love [Op-Ed]

Fifty two years after the Loving v. Virginia decision, the legalization of interracial marriage has not resulted in a more liberating environment for interracial relationships. To move past legalization and towards liberation, we must decolonize love.

Creek Nation. Man in white cowboy hat, long-sleeve shirt and jeans rides a brown horse with other riders and a tractor trailer in the background

New Podcast Explores Connection Between a Murder and the Fight for Tribal Sovereignty

This Land follows how a 1999 murder paved the way for an upcoming 2019 Supreme Court decision that will decide the land rights of five tribes in Oklahoma.

Black and white photo of a group of the Black soldiers in their dress uniforms.

Black Soldiers Honored On 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Student April Hill: “It’s so important that this ceremony recognizes the efforts of the Black soldiers—they made such a huge sacrifice, laying down their lives for a country which didn’t recognize their rights as human beings.”