In the years after World War I, America’s whites responded to black movements for change by imposing a conformity on African Americans reminiscent of the long era of slavery. Racism, lynchings, riots, and brutalities all served as means to suppress a new intellectual, economic, and political rise of the black masses that emerged during the war. Racial relations, although generally tranquil, sometimes erupted violently. Prior to the advent of racial rioting, lynching had been the most powerful and convincing form of racial repression. Aside from the casualties caused by the police themselves, racial riots involved a “communal clash” between blacks and whites.
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