An Independent Country

  • African American Artists During the Nineteenth Century

    African American Artists During the Nineteenth Century

    Several African American artists began developing their talents in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Some of these were slaves, instructed by their masters. Others were free men and women. Very few of them felt safe enough to portray their feelings about slavery and inequality through their art. Most of…


  • The Freedom Riders

    The Freedom Riders

    After Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, laws were passed that said that whites and blacks could ride together on any bus traveling through more than one state. But throughout the South, this practice was still not allowed. So white volunteers began riding with black…


  • Martin Luther King Jr.

    Martin Luther King Jr.

    After Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, things started to change. There was an energy and a movement among African Americans, especially young adults. They gathered together to protest the Jim Crow laws that kept blacks and whites segregated. First, four black students in Greensboro,…


  • Ruby Bridges

    Ruby Bridges

    Ruby Bridges was born during a time when black children and white children couldn’t go to school together. The law said schools for these children should be separate, but equal. But that’s not what happened. Schools for white children were almost always equipped with better supplies, better books, and better…


  • Jackie Robinson

    Jackie Robinson

    From gang member to world-famous baseball player, Jackie Robinson helped break down barriers for African American athletes, proving that they can not only compete, but excel, in a variety of sports. Jackie Robinson was the youngest of five children, born in 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. His father left the family…


  • African American Inventors

    African American Inventors

    They say necessity is the mother of invention; if that’s true, it’s no wonder African Americans have created so many useful products designed to make work easier or to save money. Fun Facts African Americans who were slaves often came up with ideas to make their work more efficient. They…


  • African Americans in World War II

    African Americans in World War II

    After the first world war, many African Americans migrated to the north, but some stayed in the south. They got jobs or farmed their own land. Their white neighbors didn’t always like them, especially if their crops were more successful. But World War II came, bringing change again. Fun Facts…


  • Maya Angelou

    Maya Angelou

    One of America’s most beloved writers and poets, Maya Angelou made many other contributions too. Fun Facts Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928. When she was three (and her brother, four), her parents’ marriage ended. Her father sent the two children alone on a train to…


  • James Earl Jones

    James Earl Jones

    James Earl Jones is a famous African American actor known for his deep, booming voice. You might know him as Darth Vader or Mufasa, but his story began long before his film career. Fun Facts James Earl Jones was born in 1931 in Arkabutia, Mississippi. Life was tough for African…


  • Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks stood up for herself at a time when no one else would. Her courage started a movement that led to greater equality for African Americans. Fun Facts Rosa Parks was born February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her parents separated when she was two years old. She and her…