top of page
  • Writer's pictureRT400

August is Freedom Month

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

Rememberthe400 seeks officially to recognize the month of August as Freedom Month.  There are many reasons why, but here are a few:

August Timeline

August 1600

  • August 20, 1619: The first Black slaves brought by the Dutch to the colony, of Virginia.

  • August 20, 1641: Massachusetts was the first colony to legalise slavery by statute.

August 1700

  • August 19, 1791: Benjamin Banneker published his first Almanac.

August 1800

  • August 30, 1800: A slave revolt near Richmond, Virginia, led by Gabriel Prosser and Jack Bowley, was first postponed and then betrayed. More than 40 blacks were eventually executed.

  • August 15, 1824: Freed American slaves established the country of Liberia, on the West Coast, of Africa.

  • August 21, 1831: Nat Turner began a slave revolt in, Southampton County, Virginia.

  • August 1, 1834: Slavery declared unlawful in the British Empire,

  • August 1, 1838: marks the anniversary of the proclamation of emancipation. On this date, slavery was officially abolished after the unyielding resistance of the enslaved Africans and the Parliamentary and religious support which they received from British liberals. All Caribbean States recognise the day and officially observed as a public holiday in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua and Barbuda. Activities for the day include an all-night vigil and cultural presentations.

  • August 20, 1856: Wilberforce University established in Ohio.

  • August 23, 1862: James Stone of Ohio enlisted to become the first black to fight for the Union during the Civil War. He was very light-skinned and was married to a white woman. His racial identity was revealed after his death in 1862.

  • August 1, 1867: St. Augustine’s University is a private, four-year coeducational liberal arts college located in Raleigh, North Carolina. St. Augustine’s was founded in 1867, making it one of the oldest historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) in the United States.

  • August 22, 1867: Fisk University established.

  • August 13, 1892: First issue of, Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper.

  • August 4, 1897: Henry A Rucker appointed Collector of Internal Revenue, for Georgia

  • August 17, 1897: WB Purvis patented the electric railway switch.

August 1900

  • August 23, 1900: National Negro Business League, founded.

  • August 25, 1908: National Association of Colored Nurses, founded.

  • August 2, 1920: Marcus Garvey presented his “Back To Africa” program in New York City

  • August 1, 1922: These are the years usually assigned to the Harlem Renaissance, which marks an epoch in black literature and art. 1922 1929

  • August 20, 1927: The national convention of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Society met in New York City. Garvey would be charged with mail fraud in 1923. He was convicted in 1925 and deported in 1927 after serving time in prison.

  • August 9, 1936: Jesse Owens won four. gold medals, in Berlin

  • August 24, 1950: Edith Sampson, the first Black delegate to the United Nations appointed by President Harry S. Truman.

  • August 29, 1957: Congress passed the Voting Rights Bill of 1957, the primary major civil rights legislation in more than 75 years.

  • August 19, 1963: NAACP Youth Council began sit-ins at lunch counters, Oklahoma City.

  • August 28, 1963: The March on Washington was the largest civil rights demonstration ever. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

  • August 6, 1965: President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Bill which authorised the suspension of literacy tests and the sending of federal examiners into South guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote. The Bill made it illegal to impose restrictions on federal, state and local elections designed to deny the vote to blacks.

  • August 11, 1965: A six-day insurrection started in the Watts section of Los Angeles. The National Guard was mobilised on August 13, the Rebellion toll: 34 killed, 1,032 injured, 3,952 arrested, $35 million, in property damage.

  • August 7, 1970: There was a shootout during an attempted escape in a San Rafael, California, courthouse. Implicated in the incident, Angela Davis went into hiding to avoid arrest. Davis would be acquitted of all charges on June 4, 1972.

  • August 29, 1979: Sheridan Broadcasting Corp purchased the Mutual Black Network, making it the first completely Black-owned radio network in the world.

  • August 3, 1992: Jackie Joyner-Kersee was the first woman to repeat as Olympic, heptathlon champion.

August 2000

  • August 1, 2019: Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, proclaimed August 2019 as “Emancipation Month” in the City of Toronto. In the proclamation, it states: “Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe legally restricted the cross-border trading of slaves in Upper Canada. This restriction was achieved through the passage for the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada, on July 9, 1793. All slavery was formally abolished within the British colonies under the Slavery Abolition Act on August 28, 1833.[1]

  • August 23, 2019: rememberthe400, a youth-led event, “I AM More,” took place in Hampton Virginia, commemorating the 400th year since the first African slaves were brought to the shores, of North America.

  • August 24, 2019: rememberthe400, “The Journey,” an original theatrical production that played to a sold-out crowd at The American Theater in Hampton, VA. The play, written and directed by Shadrock Porter, chronicles the lives of a peculiar people beginning from their glory days in the Promised Land to their sojourn in the Americas through, the Middle Passage.

Black History Month in North America, which first started as a week-long observation, was chosen to be February to recognize the birthdays of Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  Whereas Black History Month in the United Kingdom is celebrated in October to recognize the month in which traditional African chiefs settled disputes and the beginning of the academic calendar.  While all these rationales are worthwhile, they do not fully encompass the history of enslaved Africans and their descendants in the Americas. Nor do they recognize the UK parliamentary proceedings which abolished slavery in August 1833/1834, impacting countries belonging to the British empire, including Canada and the United States.

Rememberthe400’s mission is to tell the true story of the Children of Slavery who landed on the shores of the Americas 400 years ago in 1619, and their plight throughout history.

The month of August tells our story!

By signing this petition, you are making it known that you Remember The 400 and you want Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and all countries to which our ancestors have made significant contributions, to do the same!


484 views0 comments


bottom of page