This Far by Faith




About the Series

1526-1775: from AFRICA to AMERICA1776-1865: from BONDAGE to HOLY WAR1866-1945: from EMANCIPATION to JIM CROW1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER1967-TODAY: from CRISIS, A SEARCH FOR MEANINGTODAY: The Journey Continues
1526-1775: from AFRICA to AMERICA1776-1865: from BONDAGE to HOLY WAR
1526-1775: from AFRICA to AMERICA1776-1865: from BONDAGE to HOLY WAR
1866-1945: from EMANCIPATION to JIM CROW
Next Timeline
1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER
Timeline: 1866-1945
1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER1967-TODAY: from CRISIS, A SEARCH FOR MEANINGTODAY: The Journey Continues
1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER1967-TODAY: from CRISIS, A SEARCH FOR MEANINGTODAY: The Journey Continues

1866-1869: 14TH AND 15TH AMENDMENTS PASSED back to top

In 1866, the 14th Amendment passes. It grants citizenship to the former slaves, changing them from 3/5 of a man to whole men (and women). However, women - white and black alike - remain disenfranchised when, in 1869, the 15th Amendment guarantees the right to vote to black men. Southern states respond to these Amendments with the "Black Codes," state laws that regulate the day-to- day life of ex-slaves and sharply restrict their new freedoms.


A schoolhouse established to educate and train "colored" children in Charleston, South Carolina in 1866

Springfield Baptist Church founds the Augusta Institute, one of thousands of schools begun by churches in the wake of the civil war. The school will later become Morehouse College, named after Reverend Henry L. Morehouse.

1869-1877: AFRICAN AMERICANS IN U.S. CONGRESS back to top

The first colored senator and representatives

Between 1869 and 1877, 14 African Americans serve in the House of Representatives. Two serve in the U.S. Senate. African-American political leadership continues until 1877, the end of Reconstruction. Black Codes and the continued intimidation of black voters keep many away from the polls. It will be almost a century before blacks are once again able to fully exercise their legal right to vote.


The Fisk Jubilee Singers

In the 1870's the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University popularized the choral arrangements of black spirituals throughout the world with successful tours in the United States and Europe.

1870: C.M.E. FOUNDED back to top

The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (C.M.E.) is founded by free blacks.


James Augustine Healey the first African-American becomes the first African-American bishop in the Roman Catholic Church.


The Foreign Mission Baptist Convention of the U.S.A., the American National Baptist Convention, and the American National Educational Baptist Convention consolidate into the National Baptist Convention of the U.S.A.

1896: "SEPARATE BUT EQUAL" back to top

In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds racial segregation. The Plessy v. Ferguson decision declares that "separate but equal" accommodations are Constitutional. The case arises when a railroad company refuses a black passenger access to a white sleeping car. The Court rules this Constitutional as long as the railroad provides equal sleeping accommodations for blacks. The ruling paves the way for the legal segregation of schools and public facilities throughout the United States. At this point, 90% of African-Americans live in the South; 80% of them farm for a living.

1897: ELIJAH MUHAMMAD BORN back to top

Elijah Muhammad

Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Poole) is born in Sandersville, Georgia. He will become leader of the Nation of Islam.

1900-1930: THE GREAT NORTHERN MIGRATION back to top

The first three decades of the 20th century witness the migration of nearly two million blacks to the North. African-Americans leave the South to escape harsh economic conditions, continued discrimination, and the threat of racially motivated violence. The belief that the North holds the key to better jobs and political rights shifts the African-American population from South to North, from the countryside to the cities. The migration to urban areas brings about the rise of "storefront" churches, often the place of worship of poor or newly formed denominations.


<i>The Apostolic Faith</i>, the newspaper of the Azusa Mission

William Seymour becomes pastor of a small black Holiness mission in Los Angeles. It later becomes known as the Azusa Street Revival, an integrated 24-hour church, which is regarded as the genesis of the American Pentecostal movement. Seymour's newspaper, The Apostolic Faith, gains an international readership with up to 50,000 copies printed per issue. The interracial period of Pentecostalism ends 8 years later with the formation of the all-white Assemblies of God.

1909-1911: NAACP AND URBAN LEAGUE FOUNDED back to top

The NAACP is founded by a group including blacks and whites, men and women, to combat discrimination, promote social justice, and support the advancement of African-Americans. Leading black activists and intellectuals Ida Wells-Barnett and W.E.B. DuBois are among the founders. Two years later, Dr. George Edmund Haynes, the first African American to receive a PhD from Columbia University, and Mrs. Ruth Standish, widow of a New York City railway tycoon, found the Urban League. Its mission is to bring educational and employment opportunities to urban blacks.

1915-1920: KU KLUX KLAN GAINS FOLLOWERS back to top

Two members of the Ku Klux Klan in their disguises

The Ku Klux Klan, originally founded in 1865 by Confederate veterans in Tennessee bent on resisting Reconstruction in the Confederate States, rises again. More than 4 million Americans join this anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, anti -immigrant, and anti-black organization.

1917: WORLD WAR I back to top

The U.S. enters World War I "to make the world safe for Democracy." The first African American to be drafted is Leo Pickney. Approximately 370,000 blacks serve during World War I. The U.S. military is as segregated as the rest of the country, and African Americans fight in all-black regiments. Racial tension escalates at home and explodes in a rash of race riots during the so-called "Red Summer" of 1919.

1930-1940's: GOLDEN AGE OF GOSPEL back to top

Gospel music, influenced by the ragtime and boogie woogie rhythms of jazz and blues, sweeps black Baptist and Methodist churches. Thomas Dorsey, the "Father of Gospel," organizes the first gospel choir at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Chicago. In 1932, Dorsey writes his most famous song, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," and co-founds the first publishing house for the promotion of black American gospel. In 1942, the Golden Gates record "No Segregation in Heaven," a highlight in the era of a cappella music that dominates gospel.

1930: RISE OF THE NATION OF ISLAM back to top

W.D. Fard

W.D. Fard arrives in Detroit, Michigan selling silk goods to the city's black population and inviting them to learn about Islam. He promotes his teachings as "the natural religion" for African-Americans, and offers the opportunity to break with Christianity, which some see as a vestige from the days of slavery. Fard's message of self-reliance and black power wins many followers, and the Nation of Islam is formed. When Fard disappears mysteriously in 1934, Elijah Muhammad assumes leadership of the Nation of Islam.


Howard Thurman, a Baptist pastor and educator, travels to India to learn firsthand about Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence as an agent of social change. He introduces Gandhi's teachings to students at Howard and Boston Universities, including James Farmer, founder of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and Martin Luther King, Jr.

1941: WORLD WAR II back to top

The December 7th attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor provokes the U.S. to enter the war. As in World War I, blacks serve in segregated units.

Back to Journey 1906: American Pentecostal Movement 1867: Black Churches Become Schoolhouses 1869-1877: African Americans in U.S. Congress 1870: Slave Spirituals Popularized 1866-1869: 14th and 15th Amendments Passed 1930-1940's: Golden Age of Gospel 1937: Gandhi's Teachings Introduced 1941: World War II 1930: Rise of Nation of Islam 1909-1911: NAACP and Urban League Formed 1900-1930: The Great Northern Migration 1896: "Separate But Equal" 1915-1920: Ku Klux Klan Gains Followers 1917: World War I 1895: National Baptist Convention Formed 1897: Elijah Muhammad Born 1870: C.M.E Founded 1875: First Black Catholic Bishop