On March 6, 1857, the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court denied Blacks U.S. citizenship and denied the power of Congress to restrict slavery in any federal territory.
On March 7, 2010, Mo’Nique won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her work as the troubled mom in the movie Precious. Director Lee Daniels and newcomer actress Gabourey Sidibe failed in their efforts to win Academy Awards for the same film.
On March 7 1985, the all-star “We Are the World” single is released to benefit African famine.
On March 7 1987, Mike Tyson defeats James “Bonecrusher” Smith to unify the WBA and WBC heavyweight titles. Already the youngest-ever heavyweight champion after winning the title at just 19 years old the year before, Tyson became the youngest undisputed heavyweight champion in boxing history.
On March 9 1997, The Notorious B.I.G. was shot to death in Los Angeles. The rap star was ambushed while sitting in his car after a music industry party. He was just 24. No one has been brought to justice for the murder.
On March 9 1841, at the end of a historic case, the U.S. Supreme Court rules, with only one dissent, that the African slaves who seized control of the Amistad slave ship had been illegally forced into slavery, and thus are free under American law.
On March 10 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty in a Memphis court to charges of killing Martin Luther King Jr. He was sentenced to ninety-nine years in prison.
On March 10 1913, hero of the Underground Railroad and civil rights icon Harriet Tubman died in Auburn, New York.
On March 11 1959, Lorraine Hansberry’s critically acclaimed play A Raisin in the Sun opens on Broadway.
On March 12 1982, Live on the Sunset Strip, the latest concert film recorded by the provocative comedian Richard Pryor, arrives in movie theaters.
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Mike Tyson became the undisputed heavyweight champion, “We Are the World” came out and Biggie Smalls died; this is an incredibly historic week by any standard. The slideshow below takes a look a back on some of the pivotal cultural moments that have occurred this week in African-American history.