Welcome to the ILI Intercultural Throughline
This ever-evolving, interactive timeline gives our community members and guests an opportunity to contribute to or “pollinate” a timeline of historic and cultural events throughout American History. Our hope is that we may be able to grow together through our collective knowledge and collective pollination. Thank you for interacting with our learning tools so that we can grow together!
Absalom Jones life defined what service to others looked like. While still enslaved at 16, Absalom worked during the day and went to school at night. Eventually, he earned enough money to “purchase” his wife’s freedom, fourteen years before purchasing his own. He was elected as the first ever African American priest of the Episcopal Church in October of 1804. Before he passed away, he petitioned the State of Pennsylvania and the US Congress to abolish enslavement, decades before its time.
Omar ibn Said was born around 1770 in an African region then called Futa Toro, near the Senegal River, which now forms Senegal’s northern border with Mauritania. After receiving 25 years of schooling in Africa, he was enslaved and transported to Charleston, South Carolina. Not long after his arrival and sale to a local planter, Said escaped and made his way to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he was imprisoned after entering a Christian church to pray. After garnering attention for writing on the walls of his prison cell in Arabic, Said became the legal property of General James Owen of..Read More
Indian Removal Act — 1830 Signed into law in 1830 by President Andrew Jackson, the Indian Removal Act provided for the general resettlement of Native Americans from east of the Mississippi River to lands west (Indian Territory). Although the removal was supposed to be voluntary, removal became mandatory whenever the government thought necessary. Thousands of Indian people including nearly the entire Indian population that had existed in the southeastern United States were moved west. The first removal treaty to follow the passage of the Indian Removal Act was with the Choctaw Nation (1830). In 1838 the Cherokee Nation was removed..Read More
The Dawes Act of 1887 (also known as the General Allotment Act or the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887), authorized the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Native Americans. Those who accepted allotments and lived separately from the tribe would be granted United States citizenship. The Dawes Act was amended in 1891, in 1898 by the Curtis Act, and again in 1906 by the Burke Act.
Moorish Science Temple of America, U.S. religious movement founded in Newark, N.J., in 1913 by Timothy Drew (1886–1929), known to followers as Noble Drew Ali and also as the Prophet. Drew Ali taught that all blacks were of Moorish origins but had their Muslim identity taken away from them through slavery and racial segregation. He advocated that they should “return” to the Islam of their Moorish forefathers, redeeming themselves from racial oppression by reclaiming their historical spiritual heritage. He also encouraged use of the term “Moor” rather than “black” in self-identification. Many of the group’s formal practices were derived from..Read More
The Mexican Repatriation was a mass deportation of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans from the United States between 1929 and 1936. Estimates of how many were repatriated range from 400,000 to 2,000,000. An estimated sixty percent of those deported were birthright citizens of the United States. Because the forced movement was based on race, and ignored citizenship, the process meets modern legal definitions of ethnic cleansing. Widely blamed for exacerbating the overall economic downturn of the Great Depression, Mexicans were further targeted because of “the proximity of the Mexican border, the physical distinctiveness of mestizos, and easily identifiable barrios.” While supported by..Read More
The Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, or the Wheeler-Howard Act, was U.S. federal legislation that dealt with the status of Native Americans (known in law as American Indians or Indians). It was the centerpiece of what has been often called the “Indian New Deal”. The major goal was to reverse the traditional goal of assimilation of Indians into American society and to strengthen, encourage and perpetuate the tribes and their historic traditions and culture.
The Zoot Suit Riots were a series of conflicts on June 3–8, 1943 in Los Angeles, California, United States, which pitted American servicemen stationed in Southern California against Mexican-American youths and other minorities who were residents of the city. It was one of the dozen wartime industrial cities that suffered racial-related riots in the summer of 1943, along with Mobile, Alabama; Beaumont, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; and New York City. American servicemen and white civilians attacked and stripped children, teens, and youths who wore zoot suits, ostensibly because they considered the outfits to be unpatriotic during World War II, as they..Read More
Operation Wetback was an immigration law enforcement initiative created by Joseph Swing, the Director of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), in cooperation with the Mexican government. The program was implemented in May 1954 by U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell and utilized special tactics to deal with illegal border crossings into the United States by Mexican nationals. The program became a contentious issue in Mexico–United States relations, even though it originated from a request by the Mexican government to stop the illegal entry of Mexican laborers into the United States. Legal entry of Mexican workers for employment was..Read More
The Indian Relocation Act of 1956 (also known as Public Law 959 or the Adult Vocational Training Program) was a United States law intended to encourage Native Americans in the United States to leave Indian reservations, acquire vocational skills, and assimilate into the general population. Part of the Indian termination policy of that era, which terminated the tribal status of numerous groups, it played a significant role in increasing the population of urban Indians in succeeding decades.
The Chicano Art Movement represents attempts by Mexican-American artists to establish a unique artistic identity in the United States. Much of the art and the artists creating Chicano Art were heavily influenced by Chicano Movement (El Movimiento) which began in the 1960s. Chicano art was influenced by post-Mexican Revolution ideologies, pre-Columbian art, European painting techniques and Mexican-American social, political and cultural issues. The movement worked to resist and challenge dominant social norms and stereotypes for cultural autonomy and self-determination. Some issues the movement focused on were awareness of collective history and culture, restoration of land grants, and equal opportunity for..Read More
The Chicano Moratorium, formally known as the National Chicano Moratorium Committee, was a movement of Chicano anti-war activists that built a broad-based coalition of Mexican-American groups to organize opposition to the Vietnam War. Led by activists from local colleges and members of the “Brown Berets”, a group with roots in the high school student movement that staged walkouts in 1968, the coalition peaked with an August 29, 1970 march in East Los Angeles that drew 30,000 demonstrators.
May. 1968 in Paris, France. Students and Blue Collar Workers met on the streets. Together they dreamt and plan a change of power relationships in schools and factories. The young ones like me learnt how to listen. It also may have been my first understanding of the social power of visuals and prints. I was in my first year of Art schools, taking night classes. Our teachers had all been selected for life. The following year, 40 new teachers were hired. They were all under 40. We started to breeze.
The American Indian Movement (AIM) is a Native American advocacy group in the United States, founded in July 1968 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. AIM was initially formed to address Native American affirmation, treaty issues, spirituality, and leadership while simultaneously addressing incidents of police harassment and racism against Natives forced to move away from reservations and tribal culture by the Indian Termination Policies. AIM’s paramount objective is to create “real economic independence for the Indians”.
The Occupation of Alcatraz was an occupation of Alcatraz Island by 89 American Indians and supporters, led by Richard Oakes, LaNada Means, and others. They chose the name Indians of All Tribes (IOAT) and John Trudell was the spokesperson. According to the IOAT, under the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) between the U.S. and the Lakota, all retired, abandoned or out-of-use federal land was returned to the Native people who once occupied it. Since Alcatraz penitentiary had been closed on March 21, 1963, and the island had been declared surplus federal property in 1964, a number of Red Power activists..Read More
Navajo-Hopi Struggle to Protect the Big Mountain Reservation In 1974, the federal government partitioned the Big Mountain reservation, where the Hopi and Navajo tribes currently reside, and transferred some of the land to private ownership. Many Hopi and Navajo were relocated to other lands, but some 300 families remain at Big Mountain to fight the continued exploitation of their lands by private mining companies. Currently, those 300 families are living on land that holds over $10 billion worth of coal. The Peabody Mining Company would like expand its operations by 13,800 acres, thus intruding upon the Big Mountain residents’ sovereignty..Read More
The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week”. This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 20, both of which dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century. Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The..Read More
The Zapatista Movement: The Fight for Indigenous Rights in Mexico On 1 January 1994, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), an indigenous armed organization, declared war on the Mexican Government, demanding “work, land, housing, food, health, education, independence, liberty, democracy, justice and peace.” The EZLN movement was an eye-opening event for both the Mexican government and the non-indigenous population to realize the alarming situation of indigenous people in Chiapas. The indigenous conflict in Chiapas not only provoked a domestic awareness of indigenous rights, recognition and self-determination, but also an international awakening on these issues.
California Proposition 187 (also known as the Save Our State (SOS) initiative) was a 1994 ballot initiative to establish a state-run citizenship screening system and prohibit illegal immigrants from using non-emergency health care, public education, and other services in the State of California. Voters passed the proposed law at a referendum on November 8, 1994. The law was challenged in a legal suit and found unconstitutional by a federal district court. In 1999, Governor Gray Davis halted state appeals of this ruling.
The Gustafsen Lake standoff was a confrontation between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Ts’peten Defenders in the interior of British Columbia, Canada, at Gustafsen Lake (known as Ts’peten in the Shuswap language). The standoff began on August 18, 1995, and ended on September 17, 1995. The RCMP operation would end up being the most costly of its kind in Canadian history having involved 400 police officers and support from the Canadian Military (under Operation Wallaby). The predominantly indigenous occupiers believed that the “grazing rights privilege” ranch land on which they stood was both sacred space and part..Read More
Hurricane Hugo in Charleston, SC. It impacted the low wealth people who did not have insurance and small businesses. It impacted the poor Black Neighborhoods which were not protected against looting the same way as the other neighborhoods. Here on the picture a ILI fellow is going to check her tiny business downtown Charleston.