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Introduction: 400 Years Taking the Knee: Episode 2 (02:24)


This segment orients viewers to the African American experience in the United States after the Civil War. Three leaders with different views on addressing racial injustice emerge as the 19th century gives way to the 20th century—Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Marcus Garvey.

Booker T. Washington (03:16)

Washington believed learning a trade was the road to equality. After the Emancipation Proclamation, he attended a school in Hampton. In 1881, he established the Tuskegee Institute and in 1895 delivered his most famous speech.

W.E.B. Du Bois (02:59)

Du Bois was born into a free family; he first encountered Jim Crow at Fisk University. Du Bois condemned Washington's societal approach, focusing instead on the Talented Tenth. He published "The Souls of Black Folk," founded the Niagara Movement, and promoted Pan-Africanism.

Marcus Garvey (03:22)

Du Bois believed Garvey was an enemy of the Negro race. He published "The Negro World," spreading his form of Pan-Africanism. He believed in racial separation and launched the Black Star Line; the courts convicted him of fraud.

Emmett Till (02:40)

Till's lynching sparked the next wave in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1955, Till was accused of offending a white woman; her husband and half-brother tortured and killed him. The courts acquitted the men and 62 years later, Carol Bryant admitted she lied.

Rosa Parks (02:19)

In December 1955, Parks initiated the Montgomery Bus Boycott. She sat in an empty bus seat of the first row of the colored section. The driver moved the colored sign behind Parks to accommodate more white passengers. Parks refused to give up her seat and police arrested her.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (02:15)

King led the Montgomery Improvement Association and joined the bus boycott. He received threats and someone bombed his house; he preached meeting violence with nonviolence.

Malcolm X (02:38)

King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. Although Malcolm X believed in pursuing freedom by any means necessary, he was not King’s enemy. Animosity existed between Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. In 1965 and 1968 respectively, Malcolm X and King were assassinated.

Stokely Carmichael (02:15)

Carmichael initially aligned himself with King and was the national chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The Black Power Movement gained prominence. Carmichael, frustrated with the lack of progress, joined the Black Panther Party.

Paul Stephenson (01:55)

Stephenson was Bristol's first black youth officer and led the Bristol Bus Boycott. Stephenson worked for the Commission for Racial Equality and established a charity for underprivileged children with Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali (01:43)

In 1966, Ali refused to be drafted into the military. Authorities arrested him, stripped him of his boxing titles, and denied him a boxing license in every state. He gave a memorable television interview.

Tommie Smith & John Carlos (01:17)

The African American athletes raised a black gloved hand while receiving their medals during the 1968 Olympics. They faced significant backlash.

Darcus Howe (02:48)

Carmichael’s London visit sparked Black Power initiatives. Howe became one of the Mangrove Nine after officials charged him with inciting a riot when the community demonstrated in response to police harassment. He organized a Black People's Day of Action in 1981.

Paulette Wilson (02:54)

The "Windrush Generation" received "indefinite leave to enter the U.K.” A 2012 policy threatened deportation. Although Wilson had entered the country legally, officials claimed she was an immigration offender and arrested her twice. Wilson spoke out against her arrest and detention.

Angela Davis (03:24)

In 1970, Jonathan Jackson and two others died in a courtroom shootout during the trial of the Soledad Brothers. Davis owned several of the weapons and officials charged her with kidnapping and murder; thousands protested her arrest. Davis co-founded Critical Resistance.

Maya Angelou (01:51)

Angelou wrote seven autobiographies including, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." She spoke at President Clinton's first inauguration.

President Barack Obama (03:22)

Obama became the first African American U.S. Commander in Chief. Discussion about his legitimacy as an American occurred throughout his campaign and presidency. Many Americans wonder when real change will happen.

Credits: 400 Years Taking the Knee: Episode 2 (00:30)

Credits: 400 Years Taking the Knee: Episode 2

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400 Years Taking the Knee: Episode 2

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"The son of escaped slaves, Lewis Howard Latimer (1848-1928) is considered one of the greatest black inventors. John Brown was a notable abolitionist of this period. Hanged in 1859 he advocated the use of armed insurrection to overthrow the institution of slavery in the USA. Jesse Owens triumphed at Hitler’s showpiece 1936 Olympics yet snubbed by American figures of power. The 1948 Nationalities Act led to Windrush Generation in the UK. The writer Sam Selvon wrote The Lonely Londoners (1956). 1949 saw the birth of the first black man to serve as an Anglican archbishop - John Sentamu (97th Archbishop of York). In the US Rosa Parks was hailed as the mother of the civil rights movement after her arrest in 1955 for refusing to adhere to bus segregation rules. This year also saw the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till. Images of his brutalised body are widely disseminated by US press and met with outcry, leading him to posthumously become an icon of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1961 Frantz Fanon (1925-61) authored The Wretched of the Earth. His writing highlights violence as the only method by which colonial oppression can be overturned. In 1965 Malcolm X, the American minister and human rights activist was assassinated. In 1966 Stokely Carmichael (1941-98) popularised the phrase ‘black power’. Maya Angelou, wrote I know why the caged bird sings (1969), an autobiography charting the difficulties growing up a black woman in St Louis. James Baldwin is another author of note. In 1968 Muhammed Ali was stripped of his title after refusing to serve in Vietnam & convicted of draft evasion. In 1968 Olympics Tommie Smith & John Carlos raised a black-gloved fist as the national anthem played, adding to the list of athletes lauded for their talent but shunned for their race. The New Cross Fire in 1981 kills 13 black teenagers. The police investigation is minimal, leading to the Black People’s Day of Action. Poet Jay Bernard tracks the effects of this event in their poetry collection Surge (2019). Despite Barack Obama being elected in 2009 his presidency is opposed by those who peddle a narrative of his ‘un-American’ heritage. In 2014 tensions between police and the black population intensified. The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson led to unrest and triggered the Black Lives Matter Movement, which found wider resonance, particularly in the UK following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. In 2016 Colin Kaepernick knelt during the US national anthem to protest police shootings. "

Length: 44 minutes

Item#: EDP283528

ISBN: 979-8-88678-581-4

Copyright date: ©2021

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