This Day in Black History: Dec. 21, 1988

Rev. Jesse Jacksons urges community to identify itself as “African-American”.

Posted: 12/21/2011 07:00 AM EST
Jesse Jackson

Rev. Jesse Jackson, joined by other prominent members of the African-American community, called for Americans of African descent to abandon identifies such as “colored” or “Black” and to instead refer to themselves as African-American.


''To be called African-Americans has cultural integrity. It puts us in our proper historical context,” the reverend and civil rights veteran famously said. “Every ethnic group in this country has a reference to some land base, some historical cultural base. African-Americans have hit that level of cultural maturity.”


In 1976, Patricia R. Harris is named the secretary of housing and urban development by President-elect Jimmy Carter. She also served as secretary of health, education and welfare secretary of health and human services. Harris died March 23, 1985.



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(Photo: The Washington Times/Landov)