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Remembering ‘Red Summer’: The Brutal White-on-Black Massacre Of 1919

Photo credit: The Zinn Education Project

 

The Red Summer was a pattern of white-on-black violence that occurred in 1919 throughout the United States.

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The post World War I period was marked by a spike in racial violence. Much of it was directed toward black American veterans returning from Europe, where they were often treated much better there than by white Americans.

 

All across the country, angry white mobs brutally massacred blacks despite their brave service to America during the war.

 

The bloodiest incident occurred in Elaine, Arkansas, where it is estimated that over 100 black Americans were killed. The racial violence of the Red Summer erupted in many other Southern locations as well as in the North, most notably in Chicago.

 

The presence of racial hostility in the North was partly a reaction of Northern whites to the large influx of African Americans into Northern cities during the Great Migration, though this hostility did not prevent large numbers of African Americans from heading North (National Archives, 2020).

 

Visit the link below to view a Map Journal, which depicts some of the race-related massacres that occurred during the Spring-Autumn months of the year 1919.

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Written by PH

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