Red Summer 1919 Race Riots

Rum, beer, women, movies, nice websites, gaming, etc., without interrupting the flow of martial threads.

Red Summer 1919 Race Riots

Postby grzegorz on Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:51 pm

100 years ago, white mobs across the country attacked black people. And they fought back

By Christina Maxouris, CNN

Posted at 5:04 PM ET, Sat July 27, 2019

(CNN) — Thelma Shepherd was riding back to her Chicago apartment on July 27, 1919, when her streetcar came under attack. Black and white men hurled rocks at each other and at the passing vehicle. The 19-year-old who had recently left the South for a job in the bustling city didn't know it, but she had witnessed one of the most violent clashes of the "Red Summer."

https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/07/27/us/red ... ick-access

The drivers made no stops and dropped all the passengers off at the end of the line, her granddaughter, Claire Hartfield, remembers her saying years later.

"She was new to the city," Hartfield recalls. "She wasn't really aware of the tensions that had been building. She was just enjoying some of the excitement of being in a really big city.

"It was an ... eye-opener for her."

But other passengers on the next routes weren't lucky enough to escape.

"Street-car routes, especially transfer points, were thronged with white people of all ages," a 1922 report by the Chicago Commission on Race Relations says. Black passengers were dragged out to the street, beaten and kicked.

Over the next few days, white mobs stormed the streets attacking blacks indiscriminately. Thirty-eight people were killed, 23 of whom were black, and more than 500 were injured, the commission on race relations said.

In this 1919 photo provided by the Chicago History Museum, a victim is stoned and bludgeoned under a corner of a house during the race riots in Chicago.

Chicago wasn't the only city besieged by mob violence in the months after World War I. White gangs were eager to maintain Jim Crow-era laws but African-American soldiers returning from the war were demanding their rights and an end to second-class citizenship. Between late 1918 and late 1919, the US saw 10 major anti-black riots, dozens of minor, racially charged clashes and almost 100 lynchings, writes David F. Krugler, author of "1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back."

Scores of black men and women were killed that year in racial violence. Nobody knows how many. The official death toll, Krugler says, was more than 150 people -- the majority of whom were black -- across the country between late 1918 and 1919. The Arkansas State Archives says 200 blacks were killed in Arkansas alone over several days in September 1919.

"Overwhelmingly, it was whites attacking blacks," Krugler told CNN.

But for nearly 100 years, the "Red Summer" as it was called by NAACP field secretary James Weldon Johnson because of its explosive violence and bloodshed, went overlooked and forgotten.

"The Red Summer doesn't fit into the stories we tell ourselves about US history," Krugler says. "It's also a very prominent example of another feature of American history that we don't like to fully acknowledge."

In this 1919 photo provided by the Chicago History Museum, a crowd gathers at a house that has been vandalized and looted during the race riots in Chicago. Some of the crowd is posing inside broken windows, others are standing on the lawn.

Until today, very little has been recorded about the violence that occurred.

"When I wrote my book, people wouldn't talk about it," Cameron McWhirter, author of "Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America," told CNN. "People have spent a lot of time not focusing on it. (There's) a lot of focus now on trying to uncover this part of history."

A panicky time for white America

"A lot of people would think that 1919 was this heroic happy time for America because we just won the war," McWhirter says. "But this wasn't the case. It was a panicky time for America."

There were strikes across the country, rising prices and unemployment, returning veterans who couldn't find a job and the spread of Communism.

"In the midst of all that, we have America's racial problem," he says.

While hundreds of thousands of soldiers had been fighting across the ocean, some 5 million African Americans -- including Shepherd -- had migrated from the South to cities like Chicago, where factory owners welcomed the cheaper labor and where, according to McWhirter, the newcomers were being treated "slightly better."

In this 1919 photo provided by the Chicago History Museum, police look through a broken window of a house during the race riots in Chicago. Broken furniture is strewn about the front yard.

"Overall, it was not what we'd consider equity but it was better than what they had in the South," he said.

But the population pump caused extreme racial tensions as black neighborhoods began to expand and blacks were no longer confined to designated areas.

Tensions grew in the South, too, where sharecroppers began making money and buying land and homes.

"So all these things that were theoretically good for black people at that time became sources of violence," McWhirter says.

And white gangs began to attack.

They fought back

In July 1919, white veterans were galvanized by a rumor that the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., had released a black man suspected of sexually assaulting a white woman.

The men poured into black neighborhoods carrying pipes and lumber they found along the way, Rawn James Jr. writes in theHistory News Network.

They beat one black man and cracked another's skull with a brick.

"Thousands of white veterans in uniform snatched black people from streetcars, sidewalks and beat them without reason or mercy. Black women cried in the streets for God to save them," James writes.

In this 1919 photo provided by Chicago History Museum, a crowd of men and armed National Guard stand in front of the Ogden Cafe during race riots in Chicago.

But just like they had begun doing across the country, African Americans fought back.They too, began snatching white drivers out of vehicles or firing from their own cars. One black teenaged girl shot and killed a police officer.

"There were pockets of resistance (by African Americans)," Krugler says. "And that's another reason why the backlash was so harsh."

Further south, in Longview, Texas, where 31% of the population was black, African-American leaders were calling on black farmers to sell directly to buyers in Galveston and avoid going through white cotton brokers, the Texas State Historical Association reports.

One of the two black leaders, Samuel L. Jones, was assaulted and beaten in July and a day later, 12 white men tried to enter his house. They were met with gunfire and one of them was beaten by a group of black men.

They returned with more guns and ammunition, found the house empty, and set it on fire, along with other black residences.

In this July 13, 1919 image provided by the Library of Congress, Daniel Hoskins stands with guns deposited at Gregg County Courthouse, in Longview, Texas, following race riots during Red Summer.

In September, in Omaha, Nebraska, a mob stormed into a courthouse and dragged out a black man who had been accused of assaulting a white girl. The Omaha Bee reported that a "black beast" had assaulted the girl, according to History Nebraska, formerly Nebraska State Historical Society.

The man, Will Brown, was beaten, repeatedly shot and lynched.

"In its alliance with Tom Dennison, Omaha's powerful political boss, the Omaha Bee was the primary strident voice of alleged racially shocking crimes," the state society reported.

"Alarmed at the Bee's promotion of violence and racial prejudice, the Rev. John A. Williams—first president of the local chapter of the NAACP and publisher of the Monitor, a weekly black paper—called upon the editors of the Bee and the Daily News to stop their propaganda."

Blacks across the country set up armed self-defense patrols to protect the communities the police failed to protect, Krugler says.

But they weren't just fighting against the violence. They were fighting what Krugler calls a "three-front race war."

They were also fighting back against false media reports that blacks were the ones inciting violence and also fought for justice in biased courts.

"We see parallels to today," Krugler says. "We see African Americans continue all three of those fights into the 20th century and even the 21st century."

200 dead in Arkansas

One of the deadliest tragedies of Red Summer was in Elaine, Arkansas.

"By the end of the summer, every city was just waiting for theirs to happen, it was just all a giant panic," McWhirter says.

On September 30, as sharecroppers met to unionize against low wages, law enforcement officers drove by at night and claimed their car broke down. Soon, shots were fired.

It's still not clear who fired first, but white men used the rumors of an uprising to crush the sharecroppers' resistance. Hundreds of white men flocked from surrounding cities and states.

In the days that followed, white mobs swarmed the streets armed with rifles and more than 500 soldiers arrived to deal with "alleged black insurrectionists," the University of Arkansas Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture says.

When blacks began running toward the troops to surrender, they were shot and killed.

The military reported about 20 African American deaths at the time, the university says. Similar estimates were given by local papers.

Today, the riots are known as the "Elaine Massacre" and one of the bloodiest racial conflicts in the nation.

An estimated 200 black people were killed by white people, according to Arkansas State Archives and the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based nonprofit that provides legal representation for indigent defendants.

Another 200 were jailed or put in stockades and many were tortured.

A grand jury charged 122 African Americans with crimes connected to the riots and a jury convicted 12 of them for murder, the government reports. They were later released with the help of the NAACP, according to the state archives.

The start of a movement

When Hartfield, the granddaughter of a woman who lived through the riots, began presenting around Chicago following the publication of her book, "A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919," she said she was surprised at how many people were unfamiliar with the state's history.

"It's about uncovering and commemorating something that's very tragic and ownership of something that really didn't go well," she said.

In this July 10, 2019, photo, a wreath lies in front of a site commemorating the 1919 race riots in Chicago.

It's a history the nation needs to build upon and learn from, she says.

There were seeds back then, she said, of issues American society is still grappling with today. Issues like racial inequality in the job market, the distrust between the blacks and the criminal justice system and biased news outlets.

"But I have hope," she says.
Last edited by grzegorz on Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire
User avatar
grzegorz
Wuji
 
Posts: 6322
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:42 pm
Location: Antifa

Re: Red Summer 1919 Race Riots

Postby Trick on Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:08 am

As I recently read a small article about Swedes history in the USA. It read that in the early first half 20th Century there where a quite large Swedish population living in Chicago.
They had mainly settled in areas where other Scandinavians and Germans also lived. While South Europeans such as Italians and Greek populated “their”area of Chicago, and the Eastern Europeans/Slavic and Russians had their community, and last but far from the least the Irish held on to theirs. It would seem Chicago was quite “divided” up between different ethnic groups.
So my question, did the 1919 Red Summer happened all over Chicago or just in specific parts of the city?
I mean, was it members from all the “white”communities of Chicago or an specific ethnic group of whites that went on with that 1919 rampage ?
Trick
Wuji
 
Posts: 2488
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:30 am

Re: Red Summer 1919 Race Riots

Postby Steve James on Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:08 am

It wasn't ethnic groups. It was individuals. More people didn't participate than did. But, nobody stopped them. Compare it to Kristallnacht. Not all Germans attacked Jews.
"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."
User avatar
Steve James
Great Old One
 
Posts: 18369
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

Re: Red Summer 1919 Race Riots

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:29 am

And these individuals had nothing whatsoever in common. Just random violence, right?
"My own knowledge is shallow and I await corrections from the intelligent."
-Hermit of Jade Well
User avatar
oragami_itto
Wuji
 
Posts: 1926
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:11 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Red Summer 1919 Race Riots

Postby Steve James on Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:30 am

Not random, but not universal. They were generally males. Trick asked if they were of any particular ethnicity, like German or Swedish. No, but neither were these events limited to Chicago.

Sure, I get it. They were "white," but that's not why they did it, and not all "whites" participated. Like I said, it's better to examine why there were so many lynchings and riots in the summer of 1919. What would make people drag soldiers in uniform into the street and beat them?

https://www.truthorfiction.com/were-bla ... r-of-1919/
https://eji.org/reports/online/lynching ... red-summer

It's been 100 years. At least nowadays, it wouldn't happen to veterans in uniform. No, I take that back.

One more thing. 1920 was less violent, but not necessarily better. That year there was a famous march on Washington with thousands of participants.
Image
https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http ... C..jpg&f=1
And, they continued to march throughout the decade.
Image
Last edited by Steve James on Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."
User avatar
Steve James
Great Old One
 
Posts: 18369
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

Re: Red Summer 1919 Race Riots

Postby yeniseri on Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:19 pm

Trick wrote:As I recently read a small article about Swedes history in the USA. It read that in the early first half 20th Century there where a quite large Swedish population living in Chicago.
They had mainly settled in areas where other Scandinavians and Germans also lived. While South Europeans such as Italians and Greek populated “their”area of Chicago, and the Eastern Europeans/Slavic and Russians had their community, and last but far from the least the Irish held on to theirs. It would seem Chicago was quite “divided” up between different ethnic groups.
So my question, did the 1919 Red Summer happened all over Chicago or just in specific parts of the city?
I mean, was it members from all the “white”communities of Chicago or an specific ethnic group of whites that went on with that 1919 rampage ?


I am a recent Chicago migrant (over 25 years) but it appears that new immigrants were always harassed by the native "white"people ??? so in order to provide a safe environment for the family, people of the same language group (to make it simple) lived in their specific area (Andersonville-the Swedes, for example) because of security in numbers, the South Asians on Devon Avenue, The Mexicans on one part of the South side, the African Americans/blacks on another part of the South and West side, etc., Italians on Taylor Street, but things are slowly changing due to gentrification of those enclaves and of course, the older people move away as they cannot afford the high property taxes and so Wisconsin is a great choice.

A recent Chicago Tribune had an article on the 1919 South side riots. Interestingly, the rIots are blamed on those who fought back vs the ones who instigated the riots ??? Go figure
When fascism comes to US America, It will be wrapped in the US flag and waving a cross. An astute patriot
yeniseri
Wuji
 
Posts: 3214
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:49 pm
Location: USA

Re: Red Summer 1919 Race Riots

Postby Trick on Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:58 am

yeniseri wrote:
Trick wrote:As I recently read a small article about Swedes history in the USA. It read that in the early first half 20th Century there where a quite large Swedish population living in Chicago.
They had mainly settled in areas where other Scandinavians and Germans also lived. While South Europeans such as Italians and Greek populated “their”area of Chicago, and the Eastern Europeans/Slavic and Russians had their community, and last but far from the least the Irish held on to theirs. It would seem Chicago was quite “divided” up between different ethnic groups.
So my question, did the 1919 Red Summer happened all over Chicago or just in specific parts of the city?
I mean, was it members from all the “white”communities of Chicago or an specific ethnic group of whites that went on with that 1919 rampage ?


I am a recent Chicago migrant (over 25 years) but it appears that new immigrants were always harassed by the native "white"people ??? so in order to provide a safe environment for the family, people of the same language group (to make it simple) lived in their specific area (Andersonville-the Swedes, for example) because of security in numbers, the South Asians on Devon Avenue, The Mexicans on one part of the South side, the African Americans/blacks on another part of the South and West side, etc., Italians on Taylor Street, but things are slowly changing due to gentrification of those enclaves and of course, the older people move away as they cannot afford the high property taxes and so Wisconsin is a great choice.

A recent Chicago Tribune had an article on the 1919 South side riots. Interestingly, the rIots are blamed on those who fought back vs the ones who instigated the riots ??? Go figure

Yes as the OP so easily clump them together- “white” people. But as you say(and I wrote) Chicago was “divided” up in “ethnic” areas. And my question was did the 1919 incident happen in a specific area or was it all over the City ?
A theory could be that it was Mob related, if we talk Chicago.
Could the 1919 Red Summer violence be Mob related? but perhaps if it where that would probably be known to be so. But still maybe it could be ?

I recall from the drama documentary TV series “Making of the mob”
That in Chicago it was the Irish gangs that ruled the underworld of the city.
And if I recall right from that TV series there was also in Chicago an Afro-American run underground gambling Organisation that eventually became “too” successful, and that was not liked by some. That underground gambling activity was quite widespread in the Afro-American community meaning the bigger part of the community took part in the gambling.
Maybe the Irish gangs(or other)wanted a piece of that and tried with their reputed force of violence to get it ?
Why was the incident hushed down ? Maybe some high up “good” citizens where too tight with the gangs ?
Which proved to be true later when a new group of mobsters established them self’s in Chicago in the early 1920’s

So the story might not be as Black and White as some might want it to be but more about greenbacks ?


‘I wrote this post before I read Steve’s links which most certainly point to a truer picture of what happened. But still the Maffia/Mobster theory could have played a role..in Chicago anyway?’
Trick
Wuji
 
Posts: 2488
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:30 am

Re: Red Summer 1919 Race Riots

Postby yeniseri on Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:20 pm

The elements of the riot a as follows:
1. On that dreaded day, a white man enforcing the guidelines that black people should not be swimming with white people so he took a rock to throw to a black youth so said youth 'had to escape so he ventured into the white side of the segregated beach. (It was enforced by the city along with signage to that effect)
2. Per behavioural pattern and practice of the then Chicago Police Dept, they refused to arrest the white man who instigated the incident but arrested the black one defending his ground (sound familiar!)
3. The Irish Gangs (per the record) attempted to goad the Polish, Lithuanians, etc to incite and riot against the blacks (coming from the South usually) and when that did not work, the Irish gangs set fire to areas where the new Eastern Europeans lived. Acts like these, reinforced that people live in areas where their brethren lived.
4. Most if the rioting, arson, etc was against the black people who were seeking employment in Chicago and many did leave but the migration persisted. The white instigators were mainly Irish and arrests were ignored for those who were the ringleaders.
5. The bottom line was a fear of a better and more accomodating work force along with a thriving and upcoming economy along with the usual elements of social upheaval in an industrial segment of a state (stockyards)
When fascism comes to US America, It will be wrapped in the US flag and waving a cross. An astute patriot
yeniseri
Wuji
 
Posts: 3214
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:49 pm
Location: USA


Return to Off the Topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest