Red Summer, 1919

A crowd leaves the waterfront after the drowning of Eugene Williams in Chicago, Illinois, just before the start of the 1919 riot. From “The Negro in Chicago; a study of race relations and a race riot”/Public domain

In the summer of 1919, a wave of racist violence played out in the U.S. In many ways, the violence of Red Summer was a response to (but NOT caused by) two earlier events: the Great Migration and the return of black soldiers who had fought in World War I.

Tracy's Research:

  • DuBois, W.E.B. “Returning Soldiers,” The Crisis, XVIII (May, 1919), p. 13.
  • Bryan, Jami L. “Fighting For Respect: African-American Soldiers in WWI.” United States Army National Museum.
  • Scott, Emmett Jay. “Negro Migration During the War.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 1920.
  • Williams, Chad. “African Americans and World War I.” Africana Age. New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
  • Library of Congress. “NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom. The New Negro Movement.”
  • Rifenburg, Leigh et al. “Patriotism Despite Segregation: African-American Participation During World War I.” Drawing America to Victory. Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs.
  • Onion, Rebecca. “Red Summer.” Slate. 3/4/2015.
  • Sieber, Karen. “Visualizing Red Summer.”
  • McWhirter, Cameron. “Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America.” A John Macrae Book. Henry Holt and Company. New York. 2011.
  • Tuttle, William M. Jr. “Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919.” University of Illinois Press. 1970.
  • Voogd, Jan. “Race Riots & Resistance: The Red Summer of 1919.” Peter Lang. 2008.
  • Dorsey, Albert Jr. “A Mississippi Burning: Examining the Lynching of Lloyd Clay and the Encumbering of Black Progress in Mississippi during the Progressive Era.” Florida State University. Master’s thesis.
  • Barry, Dan. “Horror Drove Her From South. 100 Years Later, She Returned.” New York Times. 9/19/2015.
  • Mille, Stephanie. “Mystery Unresolved.” Courier-Herald.
  • Mikkelsen, Vincent. “Coming from Battle to Face a War: The Lynching of Black Soldiers in the World War I Era.” Florida State University. PhD dissertation. 2007.
  • Lyman, Brian. “'There will be lynchings': How the Advertiser failed victims of racial terror.” Montgomery Advertiser. April 20, 2018.
  • White, Walter. “Chicago and its Eight Reasons.” Via GMU History Matters.
  • Essig, Steven. “Race Riots.” Encyclopedia of Chicago.
  • Wormser, Richard. “Moore v. Dempsey.” Thirteen. WNET.
  • Stockley, Grif. “Elaine Massacre of 1919.” Encyclopedia of Arkansas.
  • Wells-Barnett, Ida B. “The Arkansas Race Riot.” 1920. Via
  • Perl, Peter. “Race Riot of 1919 Gave Glimpse of Future Struggles.” Washington Post. 3/1/1999.
  • James, Rawn Jr. “The Forgotten Washington Race War of 1919.” History News Network.

Topics in this Podcast: 20th century, mass anti-black violence, race riots, not just in the south, U.S. history, civil rights, Chicago, racism