By Jessie Carney Smith
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Additional resources for Freedom Facts and Firsts: 400 Years of the African American Civil Rights Experience
Because of this attack on her family, her father filed an anti-segregation case that was heard by the Illinois Supreme Court. In spite of Hansberry’s victory in the court case, they were continually subjected to a hostile environment. This experience was the basis for Hansberry’s 1959 play, A Raisin in the Sun. Gwendolyn Brooks (AP Photo). following the Great Depression, the unethical restrictions of Jim Crow, the inferiority of black schools, and the political and social activities of the black church.
The celebration was so well received that it gained national acclaim. In 1976, during the freedom facts MB/BM 11/7/08 9:45 AM Page 26 26 Civil Rights > Juneteenth nation’s bicentennial, Negro History Week was expanded to Black History Month. The annual celebrations focus on a specific theme; it 2008, that theme celebrated multiculturalism—a key concern that Woodson had early on. Lean’tin L. Bracks June 19 celebrations reinforce the idea that the Emancipation Proclamation did not bring immediate freedom to American blacks.
Despite the efforts of the Umbra writers, the assassination of Malcolm X, and Amiri Baraka’s establishment of the Black Arts Repertory Theatre School (BARTS) in 1965 are generally considered the beginning of the Blacks Arts Movement. Under the leadership of Amiri Baraka and Larry Neal, black writers sought to promote an aesthetic that was truly reflective of African artistic values and that celebrated the lives of black people. Amiri Baraka’s essay “Black Art” and his poem freedom facts MB/BM 11/7/08 9:45 AM Page 15 15 Arts and Entertainment > Angelou, Maya “Black Art,” and Larry Neal’s essay “The Black Arts Movement,” all provide insights into the radical black aesthetic espoused by the most prominent writers of this period.