African American History

(1964) Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet”

By March 1964, Malcolm X had broken with the Nation of Islam.  In the speech below, given on April 3, 1964 in Cleveland, Ohio he explains his departure and his reason for establishing a separation between his religion and his politics.  He also makes clear that those politics are still rooted in black nationalism and …

African American History

(1983) Glenn Loury, “Responsibility and Race”

Glenn C. Loury delivered this presentation at Hillsdale College on November 7, 1982, as part of a Center for Constructive Alternatives seminar entitled, “Ethnic America: Melting Pot or Mosaic?” One of the great myths of our time is the belief in the great melting pot of American ethnicity, into which have been blended the cultures …

African American History

(1980) Thomas Sowell, “Politics and Opportunity: Background”

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” In December 1980, shortly after former California Governor Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States, the Institute for Contemporary Studies, a California-based public policy institute (think tank) sponsored the “Black Alternatives Conference” at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.  This conference was the largest gathering of black conservatives in …

African American History

(1787) Gouverner Morris “The Curse of Slavery”

Gouverneur Morris, June 6 1792 Bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon, Courtesy Gouverneur Morris Papers (CC BY-SA 4.0) Image Ownership: Public Domain The Constitutional Convention in 1787 debated the institution of slavery.  In the speech below Gouverner Morris, a Pennsylvania delegate, described the negative impact of the institution on both North and South and in doing so …

African American History

(1976) Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, “Who, Then, Will Speak for the Common Good?”

In 1972 Barbara Charline Jordan became the first black member of Congress elected from Texas. Two years later this freshman Representative became a national figure because of her prominent role as a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment hearings of President Richard Nixon. Two years later she became the first African American …

African American History

(1974) Congresswoman Barbara Jordan’s Statement: The Richard Nixon Impeachment Hearings

Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan was selected to give the Opening Statement to the House Judiciary Committee on July 25, 1974, as it began its momentous proceedings on the Impeachment of President Richard Nixon. Her statement appears below: Mr. Chairman, I join my colleague Mr. Rangel in thanking you for giving the junior members of this …

African American History

(1970) Shirley Chisholm, “I Am For the Equal Rights Amendment.”

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm became in 1968 the first African American woman elected to Congress.  Four years later in 1972, she launched a bid to become the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, another first for an African American woman.  Throughout her career in Congress Chisholm was a staunch advocate of women’s …

African American History

(1970) Huey P. Newton, “The Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements”

Huey Newton, Black Panther Party Minister of Defense, ca. 1966 Fair use image On August 15, 1970, Huey P. Newton, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, gave a speech in New York City where he outlined the Party’s position on two emerging movements at the time, the women’s liberation movement and the gay liberation …

African American History

(1968) Robert F. Kennedy, “On the Death of Martin Luther King Jr.”

Robert F. Kennedy, August 19, 1964 Courtesy U.S. Library of Congress (LC-U9- 5415-30) On April 4, 1968, during an Indianapolis, Indiana rally for his presidential campaign, attended by a large number of African Americans, Robert F. Kennedy, despite suggestions he shouldn’t appear at all, decided to proceed and announce the assassination of Martin Luther King, …