Red Summer of 1919

The Red Summer refers to the race riots that occurred in more than three dozen cities in the United States during the summer and early autumn of 1919. Activist and author James Weldon Johnson, field secretary of the (NAACP) , coined the term "Red Summer." In 1919, he organized peaceful protests against the racial violence of that summer.

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The Elaine race riot, also called the Elaine massacre, occurred September 30, 1919 in the town of Elaine, Arkansas, in the Arkansas Delta.

Approximately 100 African-American farmers, led by Robert L. Hill, the founder of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America, met at a church in Hoop Spur, near Elaine. The purpose was "to obtain better payments for their cotton crops from the white plantation owners who dominated the area during the Jim Crow era. Black sharecroppers were often exploited in their efforts to collect payment for their cotton crops."  Whites resisted such organizing by blacks, and two went to the meeting.

In a conflict, guards shot one of the white men. Violence ensued in the town and county, leaving five whites and 100-200 blacks dead. The only men prosecuted in the events were 115 African Americans, of whom 12 were quickly convicted and sentenced to death for murder. Their cases went to the United States Supreme Court, where the convictions were overturned on appeal. In the closing days of Governor Thomas McRae's administration, he freed most of the defendants, who were helped to leave the state to avoid being lynched.

The Elaine race riot Part 1


The Elaine race riot Part 2


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The Omaha Race Riot occurred in Omaha, Nebraska, on September 28–29, 1919. The race riot resulted in the brutal lynching of Will Brown, a black worker; the death of two white men; the attempted hanging of Mayor Edward Parsons Smith; and a public rampage by thousands of whites who set fire to the Douglas County Courthouse in downtown Omaha. It followed more than 20 race riots that occurred in major industrial cities of the United States during the Red Summer of 1919.


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Longview, Tx

The Longview Race Riot was a series of violent incidents in Longview, Texas, between July 10 and July 12, 1919, when whites attacked black areas of town, killed one black man, and burned down several properties, including the houses of a black teacher and a doctor.


thin separator lineChicago Race Riot of 1919

The Chicago race riot of 1919 was provoked by a white man who was throwing rocks at black swimmers in the water at a beach on the South Side which resulted in 17 year old Eugene Williams' death. Tensions escalated when a white police officer not only failed to arrest the white man responsible for Williams' death, but arrested a black man instead.

Objections by black observers were met with violence by whites. Attacks between white and black mobs erupted swiftly. At one point, a white mob threatened Provident Hospital, many of whose patients were African American. The police successfully held them off.

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