Chicago Race Riot 1919 Racial Term Paper

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Unemployment was still very high given the return of so many from the war and the immigration levels of all races. The need for gainful employment and equitable housing was contentious among all the races, but was of coarse most heated amongst the newcomers, who had relatively little social and political connections to ensure their employment or housing opportunity.

Within the events of the riot there are several important moments, the beginning of the riot being the foremost. The event was a reflection of the overall feelings of the time and in many ways can be seen as the pinnacle of a tense and diseases social state.

On Sunday July 27, riot came to Chicago. All morning, groups of whites and blacks had been vying for territory between the 26th and 29th Street beaches. Unofficially segregated, the turf broke along racial lines. A group of black teenagers, who had transgresses into imagined white swimming territory, were stoned by a lone white man; one Eugene Williams, drowned.

As was a rather standard practice by police the officer witnessing the event did not attempt to apprehend the white man who had started the stoning but instead arrested a black man for harassing a white man. It is unknown whom, but someone fired shots and the intensity of the strain reached a peak and the riot began. "In a week, twenty-three blacks and fifteen whites were dead." The riot consisted of groups of both black and white marauders roaming the streets in several areas of the city creating havoc and mayhem with burning and looting, a fact that makes the case of the Chicago riot dissimilar from previous race riots, as they were more likely to be one race protagonist and one race antagonist. The property damage and loss of life was significant but more than anything the community became aware, once and for all that safety was at stake for the individual, even the innocent.

Much of the scholarship associated with the Chicago Race Riot is analytical of both the black press and the white press and revolves around one comprehensive work done by the now famous African-American sociologist Charles S. Johnson. Johnson wrote the first official reflection upon racial strife and the riot specifically. As a sociologist he gave a demonstratively representative reflection of the events but was held within the ideas of the board he worked with the wealthy patrons of the project and the then governor of the state, Lowden. The real contribution as noted by many historians and sociologists is the archival collection of materials dating to the period and the comprehensive though sadly tilted manner in which Johnson created the work. Though the was unduly positive, about the features of the event it says a great deal about the many factors already detailed within this work.

Recreating a period in history, through Johnson and other scholars has given the Chicago Race Riot its place in the history of racial strife and conflict. Without a doubt the social impact of such events can still be felt today as the atrocities committed by both sides upon the other mark a turning point in the goals of society. Though it is clearly not the intention of this writer to claim that the riot was a more important turning point than any other it certainly serves as an example of the importance of history, especially with regards to the race riots that occurred very recently in Los Angeles. Sadly history clearly repeats itself as, housing, employment and racial prejudice still combine to create tension and an overall feeling of mistrust of the "other" and those who are charged with the protection of all.

Naomi Farber. "Charles S. Johnson's the Negro in Chicago." Pgs. 78-80.

Stephen W. Grable "Racial Violence within the Context of Community History." Pg. 275.

Stephen W. Grable, "Racial Violence within the Context of Community History." Pg. 282.

Walter White, "Chicago and Its Eight Reasons: Walter White Considers the Causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot." Pg. 1-2.

Walter White, "Chicago and Its Eight Reasons: Walter White Considers the Causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot." Pg. 4.

Walter White, "Chicago and Its Eight Reasons: Walter White Considers the Causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot." Pg. 4.-5.

Walter White, "Chicago and Its Eight Reasons: Walter White Considers the Causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot." Pg. 2.

William M. Tuttle, "Contested Neighborhoods and Racial Violence: Prelude to the Chicago Riot of 1919." Pgs. 266-268.

William M. Tuttle, "Contested Neighborhoods and Racial Violence: Prelude to the Chicago Riot of 1919." Pgs. 267.

William M. Tuttle, "Contested Neighborhoods and Racial Violence: Prelude to the Chicago Riot of 1919." Pgs. 267-268.

William M. Tuttle, "Contested Neighborhoods and Racial Violence: Prelude to the Chicago Riot of 1919." Pgs. 268.

Walter White, "Chicago and Its Eight Reasons: Walter White Considers the Causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot." Pg. 2.

C.K. Doreski, "Chicago, Race, and the Rhetoric of the 1919 Riot." Pg. 283.

William M. Tuttle, "Contested Neighborhoods and Racial Violence: Prelude to the Chicago Riot of 1919." Pgs. 268.

C.K Doreski, "From News to History: Robert Abbott and Carl Sandburg Read the 1919 Chicago Riot." Pg. 638.

Stephen W. Grable "Racial…[continue]

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