Executive Order 9981

Bayard Rustin and the Civil Rights Movement (Part 2)

Because of his previous ties to the Communist Party, his race, and his sexual orientation, the McCarthy era was extremely dangerous for Rustin. This was one of many reasons why his activism focused on other countries in the 1950s.

Bayard Rustin, 'Angelic Troublemaker' (Part 1)

Bayard Rustin was an openly gay black man born in 1912. He spent his life working tirelessly for equal rights, peace, democracy, and economic equality, including being one of the primary planners of the 1963 March on Washington.

The Incredible Escape of Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls was born into slavery in Beaufort, South Carolina in 1839. He escaped from enslavement during the U.S. Civil War, in a particularly dramatic fashion.

The Harlem Hellfighters and Henry Johnson

In WWI, a black U.S. Army unit became one of the most decorated of the war. When these soldiers returned home, they were greeted as heroes, but were still targets of segregation, discrimination and oppression.

The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters

The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters became the first African-American labor union to be recognized by the American Federation of Labor. What started as a campaign for more money and better treatment became an important force for social change.