Historical Significance

The Color of Water By: Lexi and Meghan

The Holocaust

"I was born an Orthodox Jew on April 1, 1921, April fools day, in Poland...She was born in 1896 in the town of Dobryzn, Poland, but if you checked there today, nobody would remember her family because any Jews who didn't leave before Hitler got through with Poland were wiped out in the Holocaust." (McBride 3)
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The Holocaust started in the 1930's when Hitler took power and ended in 1945 when he died. Nazi's took over most Jewish populated countries in Europe including Poland. Approximately over six million Jewish people living in Europe during the time died or was killed in a concentration or death camp. Nearly two out of three Jewish people living in Europe was killed in what was known as the "Final Solution." In the photo above is Adolf Hitler with a troop of German Soldiers.

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK)

"I didn't know the Ku Klux Klan from Cracker Jacks, but our black customers slipped out and dashed into their homes a soon as they caught sight of them. They kept out of sight and low key, very low key when The Klan showed up. The Klan would ride right up Main Street in broad daylight and no one did a thing about it. It seemed to me that death was always around Suffolk. I was always hearing about somebody found hanged or floating in the wharf." (McBride 58)
Ku Klux Klan - A Secret History
Above is a video of a group known as the Ku Klux Klan. It was founded in 1866 in Tennessee. The group was started by a small group of confederate veterans, at first it started as a small club but soon turned into what could be considered a terrorist organization. As the group grew, it became more violent and started to spread beyond Tennessee. The group murdered African Americans as well as anyone supporting racial equality. The KKK's activity ended in 1872, but the group was later revived in 1915.

Civil Rights Activists (Martin Luther King Jr. )

"Kind, gentle, Sunday school children who had been taught to say proudly, "I am a Negro" and recite the deeds of Jackie Robinson and Paul Robeson now turned to Malcolm X and H. Rap Brown and Martin Luther King for inspiration."(McBride 96)
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Martin Luther King Junior was a Civil Rights Leader in the 1950's. He was known for leading peaceful protests in the name of equality. He was influenced by people such as Rosa Parks and Gandhi. He gave speeches, lead marches and inspired many. On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King Junior was killed on his hotel balcony by James Earl Ray. Though he is no longer here, his legacy lives on and he continues to be a great inspiration.

The Black Panthers

"It began with a sober white newsman on our black-and-white television set introducing a news clip showing a Black Panther rally, led by Bobby Seale or Huey Newton or one of those young black militant leaders, screaming to hundreds and hundreds of angry African-American students,"Black power! Black power! Black power!" while the crowd roared. It frightened the shit out of me. I thought to myself, These people will kill mommy." (McBride 27)
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The black Panthers were established in 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. The group practiced self-defense against the brutality of police or anyone against racial equality. The group was formed to learn proper defense so that they could protect themselves and others who faced the violence of racism. After the group grew that Black Panthers were targeted by police and many of the member were often involved in shoot-outs.

Malcolm X

"In 1966, when I was nine, black power had permeated every element of my neighborhood in St. Albans, Queens. Malcolm X had been killed the year before and had grown larger in death than life." (McBride 25)
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A civil Rights activist in the 1960s, Malcolm X believed that African Americans should do what ever it takes to defend their rights, but he later changed his beliefs after returning form a trip to the Holy Land, Mecca. He decided that blacks and whites should live together in peace rather than separate as he had originally believed. In 1965, New York City Malcolm was killed during a meeting.