Two years before the Tulsa massacre, a white mob killed hundreds of black Americans in the “Red Summer”

100 years ago, on May 31, 1921, an angry white mob beat and killed at least 300 black inhabitants in a district known as “Black Wall Street” in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The incident, known as the Tulsa Race Massacre, was one of the worst ethnic violence in US history.

But two years before the Tulsa massacre, another fierce wave of hatred, known as the “Red Summer” of 1919, raged in Tulsa.

Only a year after the end of World War I, the United States was getting out of the third wave of the Spanish flu epidemic. I learned that many White Americans returned from Europe and more than 500,000 Black Americans migrated from southern to northern cities and had many factories, warehouses, and low-level government jobs.

Racial tensions intensified as whites began to blame black immigrants for spreading the flu and began to catch rumors that black men were attacking white women, amplified by local newspapers.

In the summer of 1919, more than 20 racial riots broke out. At least 26 Cities across the country, including James Weldon Johnson, leader of the NAACP, including Washington DC, Omaha, Nebraska, and Knoxville, Tennessee. caused by “A constant white fear of losing social status and control.”

Around July 1919, an hourly conflict between white and black groups living in the capital killed some of both races and left many injured and injured (photo courtesy of: photo courtesy of: Bettmann Archive / Getty Images)

In the summer of 1919, clashes between white and black groups occurred frequently in several cities in the United States. (Bettmann Archive / Getty Images)

On July 27, 1919, an eight-day riot broke out in Chicago after Eugene Williams, a black teenager, floated rarafloat in a place where only whites lived on Lake Michigan. According to a white man throwing a stone at a teenager, he drowned. Chicago TribuneWitnesses said a teenager had drowned after several days of turmoil began after police refused to arrest the man. By August 3, when the riots ended, 20 blacks and 15 were A white man was dead. After the mob burned down the house, another 500 were injured and more than 1,000 black residents lost their homes.

The most deadly riots of the summer occurred on September 30th and October 1st in and around Elaine in Ark. Charles Bluff ordered 500 Army soldiers to retaliate. As a result, nearly 200 people died.

Between April and November 1919, there were approximately 30 riots in the eastern United States alone. There were also additional reports of lynching, church arson, and assault as members revived at the Ku Klux Klan.

Johnson, who coined the term “Red Summer” to describe bloodshed and violence at the time, documented what was happening in DC at the time.

“I knew it was true, but men and women of my race were rampaged, chased, dragged out of the tram, beaten, and killed in the shadow of the city dome. It was almost impossible to realize what was being true, at the front door of the White House, Capitol, “he said. I have written In the NAACP “Crisis” magazine.

National Guard

National Guard called to quell racial riots in Chicago in July 1919. (Jun Fujita / Getty Images)

A black population was also seen in the red summer Counterattack Against white mobs. The 1919 turmoil laid the foundation for the civil rights movement thirty years later, spurring them to unite over the sharing of identity and purpose, rather than forcing black Americans to submit.

Like Tulsa two years later, black Americans rebuilt their communities and continued to thrive despite severe obstacles and violence. But organized efforts such as redlining, economic discrimination and the rise of the KKK have all helped curb black progress.

For Dr. Gwinyai Musolewa, Dean of the Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Religion at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, the disregard for black life was just as prevalent 100 years ago and today.

“The continuous killing of blacks by white police shows us that racial problems have been with us for a long time until the United States turns’brown’,” Musolewa told Yahoo News. “Racism is taught, not genetic. So parents teach their children to hate, despise, and kill. Positively, because racism is taught. , “I can’t tell you”. “

As in the case of Tulsa, news coverage of the Red Summer of 1919 was highly biased, if at all mentioned, by white violence against African Americans.

Black Dispatch Newspaper 1st Edition

A edition of the Black Dispatch newspaper dealing with the incident that became known as the Tulsa Race Massacre on June 1, 1921. (Greenwood Cultural Center / Getty Images)

In 1996, on the 75th anniversary of the massacre, the mob burned down the church where the memorial service was held on that day. The world now knows about Tulsa, and according to Musolewa, they should also know about Red Summer.

“Red summer is not a forgotten issue,” Musolewa said. “People generally tend to forget their desire to never see some kind of horrifying experience again.”

(Cover thumbnail photo: Photo illustration: Yahoo News; Photo: Universal History Archive / Universal Images Group via Getty Images, Chicago Sun-Times / Chicago Daily News collection / Chicago History Museum / Getty Images)


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