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The Chicago Riot

The Chicago Riot

(p.74) Chapter V The Chicago Riot
Anatomy of Four Race Riots
Lee E. WilliamsLee E. Williams
University Press of Mississippi

From July 27 to August 1, 1919, a violent riot erupted in Chicago that killed at least 36 people and injured 536 others. In the preceding two years, whites had murdered twenty-seven blacks who decided to move from their segregated blocks into white neighborhoods. For four consecutive days, the Chicago racial rioting, which may have started in a rumor, witnessed both blacks and whites go at each other. The riot turned out to be a “two-sided conflict” because members of both races committed acts of wanton cruelty and violence. One lesson from the riot was that it was unsafe to leave the delicate problem of racial relations to groups of the community who wanted only to exploit the immigrants for economic and political gain. This chapter examines the Chicago riot and its aftermath.

Keywords:   riot, Chicago, whites, blacks, violence, racial relations, immigrants

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