January. Basketball star Michael Jordan announces his new position as partner and president of basketball operations of the Washington Wizards.
January 17. More than 46,000 protesters rally in a march on the state capitol at Columbia, South Carolina, to protest the Confederate battle flag flying atop the statehouse dome. NAACP chair Kweisi Mfume, the main speaker at the event, called it the greatest civil rights rally since the 1960s.
February 25. Louis Farrakhan announces an end to the 25-year-long rift between the Nation of Islam and the Moslem American Society headed by Wallace Deen Mohammed. The groups split in 1975 following the death of Elijah Muhammad.
May 2. South Carolina governor Jim Hodges signs a bill to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday an official state holiday. South Carolina is the last state to recognize the day as a holiday.
July. At Wimbledon, tennis player Venus Williams beats her sister Serena Williams in semifinals and becomes the first black woman to win the women's title since Althea Gibson did it in 1957-58.
December. President-Elect George W. Bush announces the appointment of several African-Americans to his cabinet. Colin L. Powell will serve as Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice as foreign policy adviser, and Dr. Roderick Paige as Secretary of Education.
January. Representative John Conyers of Michigan reintroduces legislation to create a commission to study the issue of slavery reparations.
May 12. Eight of the original "Freedom Riders" reenact their 1961 bus ride. In 1961, the civil rights protesters rode from Atlanta to Montgomery, stopping in facilities designated "white only," in order to test the Supreme Court ruling banning racial segregation in public facilities.
March 24. Halle Berry becomes the first African-American woman to receive an Academy Award for best actress and Denzel Washington becomes only the second African-American man to win in the best actor category.
July 9. President George W. Bush awards comedian and actor Bill Cosby and baseball player Hank Aaron the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
January 14. The Cincinnati Bengals hire defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis as the football team's new head coach. Lewis along with Tony Dungy and Herman Edwards are the only African-American coaches in the NFL.
January. The Montgomery bus on which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in 1955 is restored and put on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
June 23. The Supreme Court issues decisions in two cases, Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, which challenged the use of race in admissions policy at the University of Michigan's Law School and the undergraduate College of Literature, Science and the Arts. The court upholds the concept of race as one of many factors in university admission, but rejects approaches that fail to examine each student's record on an individual basis.
September 22. Carol Mosely Braun, the nation's first African-American woman senator, announces her candidacy for United States President. However, she drops out of the race on January 14, 2004.
December 13. President George W. Bush signed legislation creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture as a part of the Smithsonian Institution. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2015.
February. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the settlement to award three historically black universities in Mississippi just over $500 million.
May 10. The U.S. Justice department reopened the Emmett Till murder case. While visiting small-town Mississippi from Chicago in 1955, Till, a 14 year-old boy, was tortured and killed after allegedly whistling at a white woman. The case was officially closed in 2007 without charges being filed.
October 7th. Tom Colbert is appointed the first black Oklahoma Supreme Court justice.
January 1. Shirley Chisholm died in Ormond Beach, Florida, at age 80. Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (born 1924) was the first black woman to serve in the U.S. Congress. She served as the representative for the 12th district of New York from 1969 until 1982. In 1972, when she became the first black woman to actively run for the presidency of the United States, she won ten percent of the votes at the Democratic National Convention
January 26. Condoleeza Rice was sworn in as secretary of state.
August 29. Hurricane Katrina hit the southern coast of the United States. Leaving both Louisiana and Mississippi in its wake, the hurricane was one of the deadliest disasters in U.S. history. Spike Lee's 2006 documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" examines the impact of the storm and the delayed rescue efforts.
September 28. The ceremonial groundbreaking of the African Burial Ground in Manhattan took place. The site will host a memorial to the enslaved 17th- and 18th-century Africans buried there, while preserving artifacts found during the excavation.
November 1. Ebony magazine celebrated its 60th anniversary.
January 31. Coretta Scott King, civil rights activist and the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., died in Baja California, Mexico, at age 78.
February 7. StoryCorps and the National Museum of African American History and Culture announced a collaborative project to record up to 2,000 oral histories of black Americans, including World War II veterans and participants in the civil rights movement.
September 20. In December 2006, six black students in Jena, a predominately white, small Louisiana town, reportedly beat a white student after numerous racial incidences at the school. Because of what was considered harsh, inconsistent treatment of the black students, an estimated 20,000 protesters traveled to Jena to demonstrate. The judge was removed from the case in August of 2008 for making biased statements. Five of the codefendants are still awaiting trial.
March 31: Former New York Lt. Governor David Paterson is sworn in as governor after Eliot Spitzer's resignation, becoming the first black governor of the state.
June 4: Barack Obama received the Democratic nomination for president, becoming the first black person to be nominated by a major political party.
November 4. Barack Obama is elected the 44th president of the United States and the first black U.S. president. In his acceptance speech in Chicago's Grant Park later that evening, Obama said, "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."
December. President-Elect Barack Obama nominated several black Americans to his cabinet. If confirmed, Eric Holder Jr. will serve as attorney general, Dr. Susan Rice as the U.N. ambassador, Ron Kirk as the trade representative, and Lisa Jackson as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.