We Shall Not Be Moved

The We Shall Not Be Moved Timeline provides historical information about and related to the themes within WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED. Each section is marked by a different color addressing one of the themes: We Shall Not Be Moved, MOVE, Schooling and Education, Art & Media, Green Politics, and Social Markers. The timeline expands on histories presented in the study guide and should be used to inspire your own inquiry into the Opera.

We Shall Not Be Moved (orange) shows the various organizations and individuals that contributed to creating and producing the Opera.;xNLx;;xNLx;MOVE (yellow) provides context for the abandoned house the Family Stand occupies, which was owned by the organization MOVE.;xNLx;;xNLx;Schooling and Education (grey) tracks movements towards better schooling resources and opportunities for Black and low-income students. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Art & Media (purple) pinpoints artists and artworks that reimagined art forms, infusing genres with social and political commentary. It also highlights and remembers various opera singers from the 1950s to 2017. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Green Politics (green) follows the green movement in the United States and various ways communities handle composting.;xNLx;;xNLx;Social Markers (blue) provides context for the histories surrounding themes within the Opera.;xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;

1954-05-17 02:40:07

Brown v. Board of Education

A school in Topeka, Kansas denied Oliver Brown’s daughter admittance because of her race.

1955-01-15 02:40:07

Claudette Colvin Couldn't Move

At the age of 15, Claudette Colvin refused to get up from her seat after a bus driver ordered her to move.

1957-09-04 02:40:07

Little Rock Nine

Brown v Board II ordered districts to integrate their schools “with all deliberate speed.” Arkansas outlawed integration in the state.

1957-12-17 02:40:07

The Harlem Nine

In Harlem, Mae Mallory and eight other parents protested the district by removing their children from their junior high school and homeschooling them.

1959-01-15 02:40:07

A Raisin in the Sun

A Raisin in the Sun, a play by Lorraine Hansberry, debuts on Broadway.

1960-04-22 17:21:22

Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee

The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) formed after young activists in Greensboro, North Carolina risked their bodies by challenging segregation and holding sit-ins at several restaurants.

1961-01-20 17:21:22

35th President John F. Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy served the United States from 1961 – 1963.

1963-07-18 14:30:17

Harlem Riots

Harlem erupted when an off-duty cop shot and killed James Powell, a student, outside of a Manhattan apartment.

1963-08-28 02:40:07

The March on Washington

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom gathered over 250,000 people advocating for equal rights and equal protection of the law.

1963-10-22 17:21:22

"Freedom Day" in Chicago

More than 200,000 students stayed home to protest segregation and inequality in the Chicago public school district.

1963-11-22 17:21:22

36th President Lyndon B. Johnson

Former Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson served as President from 1963 – 1971.

1964-02-03 17:21:22

Freedom Day in New York

Parents, teachers, students and supporters left school and crowded the streets of New York City to participate in the “Freedom Day” boycott and end school segregation.

1964-06-22 17:21:22

Freedom Summer

Young activists organized the Freedom Summer project to increase voter registration and resolve issues of poor schooling for Black students.

1964-11-16 07:37:23

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is considered one of the most significant outcomes of the Civil Rights Movement.

1964-11-18 17:45:52

Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions: “People Get Ready”

A month after experiencing Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the Impressions released “People Get Ready.”

1965-02-21 02:40:07

Malcolm X

Malcolm X was a prominent leader throughout the Civil Rights Movement and advocate for Black Nationalism.

1965-04-04 13:30:07

Black Arts Movement 1965 - 1975

The Black Arts Movement emerged after the death of Malcolm X, as artists embraced Black Nationalism and saw themselves and their work as an extension of the community.

1965-06-30 17:08:17


President Kennedy used the term “affirmative action” when ordering businesses and institutions to employ and treat employees without regard to race, creed, color or national origin.

1966-06-29 02:40:07


Stokely Carmichael used the phrase “Black Power” while speaking to college students at Berkeley, California.

1966-06-30 17:08:17

The Black Panther Party

Oakland, California—Influenced by Malcolm X’s philosophy, Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the Black Panther Party of Self Defense, later named the Black Panther Party.

1968-04-04 13:30:07

The Death of Martin Luther King Jr.

On April 4, 1968 while on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee, a shot fired across the way ending the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

1968-08-04 13:30:07

"I'm Black and I'm Proud"

“Say it Loud, ‘I’m Black and I’m Proud’” became a song of affirmation and pride within the Black community.

1969-01-15 02:40:07

Sesame Street Debuts

Sesame Street was the pioneer for a new form of television that taught children basic knowledge as well as entertained them.

1969-01-20 23:02:42

37th President Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon was the 37th President of the United States from 1969 until his resignation in 1974.

1969-06-15 02:40:07

The Burning Cuyahoga River

Sparks from a train passing by ignited a fire in the Cuyahoga River and the movement for green politics.

1969-11-30 16:47:08

Jessye Norman, soprano

Her first performance was in her living room and Jessye Norman hasn’t stopped singing yet.

1970-04-22 23:02:42

Earth Day

With the rising concern of how pollution impacted the earth, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day.

1970-08-15 02:40:07


In August, Philadelphia police raided multiple Black Panther offices.

1970-10-12 17:43:42

Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education

Swann v. Charlotte started the movement for busing school children from their neighborhoods into another school district.

1970-11-28 09:12:49

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is simultaneously, poem, song, and anthem for a revolution.

1970-12-02 23:02:42

Environmental Protection Agency

President Richard Nixon became an advocate for green politics by founding the Environmental Protection Agency.

1971-05-21 02:40:07

Marvin Gaye: What's Going On?

After a series of Motown hits, Marvin Gaye used his music to discuss what's going on in America.

1971-08-15 06:23:20

Blaxploiatation Films

Blaxploitation films embody the shame and aspiration of Black life in the 70s.

1972-01-01 17:43:42

John Africa founds MOVE

MOVE, founded by John Africa in 1972, was originally called the Christian Movement for Life.

1972-02-17 17:43:42

The Stylistics: "People Make the World Go Round"

The Stylistics are a Philadelphia born singing group formed in 1968.

1972-11-13 04:09:32

Frank Rizzo elected Mayor

Frank Rizzo was elected Mayor of Philadelphia in 1972, after serving as Philadelphia’s Police Commissioner.

1973-07-07 17:21:22

The Environmental Justice Movement

Environmental Justice is the inclusion of all people regardless of race, religion, sex, or income in the cause for developing, implementing and enforcing environmental laws, regulations and policies.

1973-11-28 09:12:49

The Birth of Hip-Hop

Hip-Hop is a culture and communal movement that infused music, style, dance and storytelling.

1974-01-20 02:37:39

38th President Gerald Ford

President Gerlad Ford served the United States from 1974 - 1977.

1974-06-04 15:19:45


After years of protests from activists and community members, the Boston school district enacted their own busing program.

1975-04-07 18:00:27


The Vietnam War began in November 1955 and lasted until April 1975.

1975-11-19 04:17:34

Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes “Wake Up Everybody”

Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes were a popular R&B/soul group from Philadelphia.

1976-07-07 17:21:22

Soweto Uprising

Students in Soweto, Africa protested making Afrikaans the language used in classrooms. They peacefully rallied and marched towards the soccer stadium.

1977-01-20 17:43:42

39th President Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter served the United States from 1977 - 1981

1978-08-08 04:17:34


MOVE's habits of living caused complaints from neighbors and attention from Philadelphia Police. Their home attracted rodents and bugs because of their system of composting. Neighbors accused members of not feeding their children, though their diet consisted of raw foods.

1978-08-09 04:17:34

Delbert Africa and Philadelpia Police

Delbert Africa was one of the nine members of MOVE convicted of killing Officer James Ramp.

1978-08-15 06:23:20

Regents of University of California v. Bakke

The Supreme Court Case ruled the use of racial quotas in admissions processes unconstitutional.

1979-08-08 04:17:34


Ramona Africa became a member of MOVE in 1979, after meeting MOVE women during her time in prison.

1981-05-17 02:40:07

The Artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a painter of words and shapes.

1981-06-04 15:19:45

40th President Ronald Reagan

President Ronald Reagan served two terms from 1981 - 1989.

We Shall Not Be Moved

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