Journeys through the Black Atlantic:

Exploring the political aspirations and achievements of Black Atlantic people and cultures

The Black Atlantic is a network of cultures spanning Africa, North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe forged, in the first instance, by the transatlantic slave trade. This timeline records some of the political, intellectual, aesthetic and activist work done in this transnational cultural formation since 1945.

1964

02

Jul

Civil Rights Act

President Johnson pushes the Civil Rights Act through Congress that prohibited discrimination in public places, gave the Justice Department permission to sue states that discriminated against women and minorities and promised equal opportunities…

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1961

15

Mar

Ray Charles Refuses to Play for Segregated Audience

When it was announced that Bell Auditorium in Augusta, Georgia, would be segregating Ray Charles’s show, Charles immediately cancelled his appearance. This came after a refusal to include Augusta in his tour for “What’d I Say”…

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1960

21

Mar

Sharpeville Massacre

The Sharpeville massacre occurred after a day of demonstrations against pass laws when South African police opened fire on a crowd, killing 69 and injuring 180. It triggered mass underground resistance and international solidarity…

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1959

17

May

Murder of Kelso Cochrane

Kelso Cochrane, a young Black man, was stabbed to death in Golborne Road by white youth who were never apprehended. His murder sparked a new era of community race relations in Britain thanks to the lack of…

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1958

29

Aug

Notting Hill Race Riots

Between August 29 and September 5, 1958, there were a series of racially motivated race riots in Notting Hill between ‘Teddy Boys’ and Caribbean Immigrants. Some of these riots included…

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1957

06

Mar

Ghana Obtains Independence

Kwame Nkrumah, a renowned pan-Africanist, leads Ghana to independence as Britain’s first African colony to obtain majority-rule independence. Ghana stood, as Nkrumah stated, as proof that “Africans conduct their own affairs…

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1948

10

Dec

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights became the foundation for human and civil rights movement after WWII. For the Black Atlantic, the Declaration emphasized the recognition of fundamental rights and freedoms by their colonial leaders…

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