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Key moments in Black history

10/10/2013, 9 a.m.

Nat Turner

Nat Turner (Oct. 2, 1880 - Nov. 11, 11831) was a Black slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia on Aug. 21, 1831 that

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Discovery of Nat Turner

resulted in 55 white deaths. Whites responded with at least 100 Black deaths. Turner gathered supporters in Southampton County, Virginia but it wasn’t enough. He was convicted, sentenced to death and hanged. In the aftermath, the state executed 56 blacks accused of being part of Turner’s slave rebellion. Two hundred Blacks were also killed after being beaten by white militias and mobs reacting with violence. Across Virginia and other southern states, state legislators passed new laws prohibiting education of slaves and free Blacks, restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for free Blacks and requiring white ministers to be present at Black worship services. Slavery and vicious hate crimes continued, possibly because of President Andrew Jackson’s vocal advocacy against abolition.

The New Orleans Tribune

The New Orleans Tribune is a newspaper serving the Black community of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was first founded in October 1864 — its predecessor has maintained the same name and mission. Today the Tribune, reestablished in 1985, is published by McKenna Publishing Co., which also publishes The Blackbook, a community directory of Black businesses and Welcome, a guide for Black tourists to New Orleans. The Tribune has earned a reputation as a fearless, pioneering advocate for social, economic and political issues often ignored by the mainstream press. Monthly features and departments highlight prominent government, business, and community leaders, and feature topical stories on education, health, arts/entertainment, government, business and technology.

Elijah Muhammad

Elijah Muhammad, son of a sharecropper, was born into poverty in Sandersville, Georgia, on October 7, 1897. After moving to

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Elijah Muhammad speaking in 1964

Detroit in 1923, he met W. D. Fard, founder of the Black separatist movement the Nation of Islam. Muhammad became Fard’s successor from 1934-75 and was known for his controversial preaching. He became a mentor to Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Muhammad Ali and his son, Warith Deen Mohammed. The Nation of Islam is estimated to have between 20,000 and 50,000 members and 130 mosques offering numerous social programs. Muhammad was imprisoned from 1942 to 1946 for evading the draft. After his release, he returned to leadership of the Nation of Islam. He declared that Fard had been an incarnation of Allah and that he himself was now Allah’s messenger. Over the next 30 years, Muhammad built the religion from a small fringe group into a large and complex organization that attracted controversy along with its new prominence. He continued to preach financial independence for Blacks, racial separation rather than integration and a strict code of moral behavior. His writings included Message to the Black Man (1965) and How to Eat to Live (1972). He died in Chicago on Feb. 25, 1975.