Henry Louis Gates Jr. on anti-black mob violence in American history

Henry Louis Gates Jr., the director of Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research and the author of numerous important works on African American history and literature, has an excellent article in The Root“Who Killed Black Wall Street?” — summarizing of the white riot in Tulsa, Okla., in 1921, and it’s relevance to modern racial tensions.

In his essay, Prof. Gates is kind enough to reference Red Summer:
“The truth was the United States during and after World War I was suffering an epidemic, not of influenza, but of race riots. Among the most notorious were the East St. Louis Riot of 1917 and the Red Summer Riots of 1919 in Chicago, which, over four days, claimed the lives of two dozen blacks with hundreds more injured. Scholars, including Cameron McWhirter, author of Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America, have offered many theories about the causes of these race riots: conflicts over jobs, whites’ fury at the number of black families moving into their cities, blacks’ willingness to push back against the excesses of Jim Crow and the visible public presence of black World War I veterans in uniform.”


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