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red-summer-riots

James Weldon Johnson, was the first to call the race riots that occurred during the summer of 1919, “Red Summer”.  During this time, race riots broke out across the country due to the growing animosity and tension between blacks and whites.  Riots broke out in Arkansas, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Washington, DC, Illinois, and Nebraska.  One of the most violent of these riots occurred in Chicago, IL.  Riots occurred in over three dozen cities.  The riot was started when a black teen, floated onto a white beach.  The teen was violently attacked.  From there, the beatings spilled over into white neighborhoods; with blacks passing through these neighborhoods being attacked.  Chicago police did not intervene to stop the attacks.  Blacks then responded by attacking whites that entered their neighborhoods.  It would eventually take a rain storm and the Illinois National Guard to regain order after 5 days.  It would be in Chicago, Washington, DC and Elaine, AK that the largest number of deaths occurred. Continue reading “Red Summer Race Riots of 1919”