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. https://glc.yale.edu/returning-soldiers
  • Bryan, Jami L. “Fighting For Respect: African-American Soldiers in WWI.” United States Army National Museum. https://armyhistory.org/fighting-for-respect-african-american-soldiers-in-wwi/
  • Scott, Emmett Jay. “Negro Migration During the War.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 1920. https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=5oKzAAAAMAAJ&hl=en&pg=GBS.PP1
  • Williams, Chad. “African Americans and World War I.” Africana Age. New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. http://exhibitions.nypl.org/africanaage/essay-world-war-i.html
  • Library of Congress. “NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom. The New Negro Movement.” https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/naacp/the-new-negro-movement.html
  • Rifenburg, Leigh et al. “Patriotism Despite Segregation: African-American Participation During World War I.” Drawing America to Victory. Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs. https://history.delaware.gov/exhibits/online/WWI/African-Americans-ww1.shtml
  • Onion, Rebecca. “Red Summer.” Slate. 3/4/2015. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2015/03/civil-rights-movement-history-the-long-tradition-of-black-americans-taking-up-arms-to-defend-themselves-against-racial-violence.html
  • Sieber, Karen. “Visualizing Red Summer.” https://visualizingtheredsummer.com/
  • 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. https://fsu.digital.flvc.org/islandora/object/fsu:168847/datastream/PDF/view
  • Barry, Dan. “Horror Drove Her From South. 100 Years Later, She Returned.” New York Times. 9/19/2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/us/horror-drove-her-from-south-100-years-later-she-returned.html
  • Mille, Stephanie. “Mystery Unresolved.” Courier-Herald. http://courier-herald.com/printer_friendly/4871921
  • 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. https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2018/04/20/there-lynchings-how-advertiser-failed-victims-racial-terror-eji-peace-justice-memorial-montgomery/499656002/
  • White, Walter. “Chicago and its Eight Reasons.” Via GMU History Matters. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/4978/
  • Essig, Steven. “Race Riots.” Encyclopedia of Chicago. http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1032.html
  • Wormser, Richard. “Moore v. Dempsey.” Thirteen. WNET. https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_moore.html
  • Stockley, Grif. “Elaine Massacre of 1919.” Encyclopedia of Arkansas. https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/elaine-massacre-of-1919-1102/
  • Wells-Barnett, Ida B. “The Arkansas Race Riot.” 1920. Via archive.org. https://archive.org/details/TheArkansasRaceRiot/page/n12
  • Perl, Peter. “Race Riot of 1919 Gave Glimpse of Future Struggles.” Washington Post. 3/1/1999. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/2000/raceriot0301.htm
  • James, Rawn Jr. “The Forgotten Washington Race War of 1919.” History News Network. https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/123811

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