It’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH here are a few things you should know:


Important legal cases:

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896): The United States Supreme Court upheld a Louisiana law separating blacks and whites into different railroad passenger cars.  This case set the precedent for “separate, but equal.”

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954): By unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.


Loving v. Virginia (1967):  The United States Supreme Court invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.


Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971): Unanimous United States Supreme Court upheld the busing of students to promote integration in public schools.


Laws intended to grant equal rights:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964:  Ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.


The Civil Rights Act of 1968: Defines housing discrimination as the “refusal to sell or rent a dwelling to any person because of his race, color, religion, or national origin.”


Landmark exonerations:

Regarding Malcolm X – In November 2021, the convictions of Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam for the 1965 assassination of Malcom X were vacated after a nearly two-year investigation concluded the men were denied a fair trial because their attorneys were denied access to exculpatory evidence.


Regarding the Groveland Four -Four African American young men falsely accused, convicted or murdered for rape in 1949 receive posthumous pardons. See for more information.


Regarding the Central Park 5 – In 1989, five African American teenagers were arrested in connection with the rape of a jogger in New York City. The men were exonerated in 2002 after a convicted murderer confessed to the crime a year earlier.