Books on Lynch Terror in America
History of the Negro in America (1969) /
Violence: Historical Studies of American Violence and Vigilantism (1975)
But There Was no Peace: The
Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction
( 1905) /
An American Dilemma
The Crucible of Race:
Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation
Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.
Rope and Faggot
( 1929) /
The Tragedy of
Lynching (1933) /
Race Riot in East St,
Louis (1964) /
Urban Racial Violence
Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
in America (1969)
* * * *
Riots & Massacres in the Jim
Setting: Decade After World War I
Summer." This was the year of the "Red Summer," with
26 race riots between the months of April and October. These included
disturbances in the following areas:
Charleston, South Carolina.
Gregg and Longview counties, Texas.
Washington, D. C.
Seventy-six black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1919.
U.S. population: 105,710,620
Black population: 10,463,131
Harlem Renaissance. The decade of the Twenties witnessed the
Harlem Renaissance, a remarkable period of creativity for black writers, poets,
and artists, including these authors:
Claude McKay, Harlem Shadows,
Jean Toomer, Cane,
Alaine Locke, The New Negro,
Countee Cullen, Color,
Rise of Marcus Garvey. On August 1, Marcus Garvey's Universal
Improvement Association held its national convention in Harlem, the
traditionally black neighborhood in New York City. Garvey's African nationalist
movement was the first black American mass movement, and at its height it
claimed hundreds of thousands of supporters.
elected president. On November 3, Warren G. Harding
(Republican) was elected president.
Fifty-three black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1920.
* * *
SUPREMACY & DOMINATION: RACE RIOTS
& Massacring African Americans
the decade immediately preceding World War I, a pattern of racial violence began
to emerge in which white mob assaults were directed against entire Black
communities. These race riots were the product of white society’s desire to
maintain its superiority over Blacks, vent its frustrations in times of
distress, and attack those least able to defend themselves. In these race riots,
white mobs invaded Black neighborhoods, beat and killed large numbers of Blacks
and destroyed Black property. In most instances, Blacks fought back and there
were many casualties on both sides, though most of the dead were Black.
Gunnar Myrdal opposed
the use of the term “riots” to describe these interracial conflicts. He
preferred to call this phenomena “a terrorization or massacre, and
(considered) it a magnified, or mass, lynching.”13 Race riots
occurred in both the North and South, but were more characteristic of the North.
They were primarily urban phenomena, while lynching was primarily a rural
Although lynchings were
decreasing slightly by the turn of the century, race riots were perceptibly on
the increase. Large-scale interracial violence became almost epidemic, as
increasing numbers of Blacks migrated to Northern cities. The greatest number of
race riots occurred during and just after World War I. During this period the
North was concerned with the tremendous migration of Blacks from the South, and
the displacement of some whites by Blacks in jobs and residences, which
escalated social tensions between the races. The South was concerned about the
possible demands of returning Negro soldiers, who were unwilling to slip quietly
back into second class citizenship.
The summer of 1919,
called “The Red Summer” by James Weldon Johnson, ushered in the greatest
period of interracial violence the nation had ever witnessed. During that summer
there were twenty-six race riots in such cities as Chicago, Illinois;
Washington, D.C.; Elaine, Arkansas; Charleston, South Carolina; Knoxville and
Nashville, Tennessee; Longview, Texas; and Omaha, Nebraska. More than one
hundred Blacks were killed in these riots, and thousands were wounded and left
The seven most serious
race riots were those which occurred in Wilmington, N. C. (1898), Atlanta, Ga.
(1906), Springfield, Ill. (1908), East St. Louis) Ill. (1917), Chicago, Ill.
(1919), Tulsa, Okla. (1921) and Detroit, Mich. (1943). What follows is a brief
summary of the facts concerning each riot.
In November 1898, Wilmington, North Carolina,
just before the turn of the century, exploded in the first
major race riot since Reconstruction. The Wilmington riot followed an
impassioned election campaign in which intimidation and fraud brought in a white
supremacist government. Plans were drawn up before the election to coerce the
Black voters and workers, and to expel the editor of the Black newspaper. Two
days after the election, as whites began to execute their plan, the riot flamed.
About thirty Blacks were killed in the massacre and many left the city. The
white mob suffered no casualties.
September 1906, in Atlanta, Georgia, one of the South’s
most sensational riots occurred . For
months the city had been lashed into a fury of race hatred by a movement to
disfranchise Blacks. The Atlanta press had begun to treat Black crime,
especially assault and rape, in an inflammatory fashion. Twelve rapes of white
women were reported in one week, giving the impression that there was an
epidemic of Black rape. This touched off a riot.
White mobs, meeting ineffective
resistance by city police, murdered Blacks, destroyed and looted their homes and
businesses. Blacks attempted to resist, but were outnumbered. Some Blacks were
arrested for arming themselves in self-defense. When the four days of rioting
ended, ten Blacks and two whites were dead, hundreds were injured, and over a
thousand fled the city.
August 1908, in Springfield,
Illinois, , a three-day riot took place, initiated by a white
woman's claim of violation by a Negro. Inflamed by newspapers’ sensationalism,
crowds of whites gathered around the jail demanding that the Negro, who had been
arrested and imprisoned, be lynched. When the sheriff transferred the accused
and another Negro to a jail in a nearby town, white mobs headed for the Negro
section and attacked homes and businesses.
Two Blacks were
lynched, others were
dragged from their houses and streetcars and beaten. By the time the National
Guardsmen reached the scene, six persons were dead—four whites and two
Negroes. This riot, in the home town of Abraham Lincoln, shocked white liberals,
who met the following year in New York City, with several prominent Blacks, to
form the NAACP “to promote equality of rights and eradicate caste or race
1917, the East St. Louis,
Illinois riot was touched off by the fear of white working men that
Negro advances in economic, political and social status were threatening their
own status. When the labor force of an aluminum plant went on strike in April,
the company hired Negro workers. Although the strike was crushed by a
combination of militia, injunctions, and both Black and white strike breakers,
the union blamed its defeat on the Blacks.
A union meeting in May demanded that
“East St. Louis must remain a white man’s town.” A riot followed, sparked
by a white man, during which mobs demolished buildings and Blacks were attacked
and beaten. Policemen did little more than take the injured to hospitals and
disarm Negroes. Harassments and beatings continued through June.
On July 1, some whites
in a Ford drove through the main Negro district, shooting into homes. Blacks
armed themselves. When a police car, also a Ford, drove down the street to
investigate, the Blacks fired on it, killing two policemen. The next day, as
reports of the shooting spread, a new riot began. Streetcars were stopped,
Blacks were pulled off, stoned, clubbed, kicked and shot.
Other rioters set fire
to Black homes. By midnight the Black section was in flames and Blacks were
fleeing the city. The official casualty figures were nine whites and thirty-nine
Blacks, hundreds wounded, but the NAACP investigators estimated that between one
hundred to two hundred Blacks were killed.14 Over three hundred
buildings were destroyed.
July 1919, the worst of the post-War race riots took place in Chicago,
Illinois. It began . . .
when a young Black “encroached” upon a swimming area that the whites had
marked off for themselves, and was stoned until he drowned. By the time the riot
ended, thirteen days later, thousands of both races had been involved in a
series of frays, fifteen whites and twenty-three Negroes were killed, and 178
whites and 342 Blacks were injured. More than one thousand families, mostly
Blacks, were left homeless due to the burnings and general destruction of
May 31 to June 1, 1921, the Tulsa, Oklahoma
riot took place . A white girl charged a Black youth
with attempted rape in an elevator in a public building. The youth was arrested
and imprisoned. Armed Blacks came to the jail to protect the accused youth, who,
it was rumored, would be lynched. Altercations between whites and Blacks at the
jail led to a “race war.”
A mob, numbering more than ten thousand attacked
the Black district. “Machine-guns were brought into use; eight aeroplanes were
employed to spy on the movements of the Negroes and according to some were used
in bombing the colored section.”15 Four companies of the National
Guard were called out, but by the time order was restored, fifty whites and
between 150 and 200 Blacks were killed. Many homes were looted and $1,500,000
worth of property was destroyed by fire.
1943 the riot in Detroit,
Michigan flared from the increased racial friction over the sharp rise
in the Negro population, which led to competition with whites on the job and
housing markets. On June 20, rioting broke out on Belle Isle, a recreational
area used by both races but predominately by Negroes. Fist fights escalated into
a major conflict.
The first wave of looting and bloodshed began in the Black
ghetto “Paradise Valley” and later spread to other sections of the city.
White mobs attacked Blacks in the downtown area, and traveled into Black
neighborhoods by car, where they were met by sniping. By the time federal troops
arrived to halt the riot, 25 Blacks and nine whites were killed and property
damaged exceeded $2 million.16
Race riots were caused
by a great number of social, political and economic factors. Joseph Boskin,
author of Urban Racial Violence
observed that there were certain general patterns in the major twentieth century
In each of the race riots, with few exceptions, it was white people that sparked
the incident by attacking Black people.
In the majority of the riots, some extraordinary social condition prevailed at
the time of the riot: prewar social changes, wartime mobility, post-war
adjustment, or economic depression.
The majority of the riots occurred during the hot summer months.
Rumor played an extremely important role in causing many riots. Rumors of some
criminal activity by Blacks against whites perpetuated the actions of white
The police force, more than any other institution, was invariably involved as a
precipitating cause or perpetuating factor in the riots. In almost every one of
the riots, the police sided with the attackers, either by actually participating
in, or by failing to quell the attack.
In almost every instance, the fighting occurred within the Black community.
Black American community responded to white mob violence in several ways. Black
people resisted this oppression. This resistance was expressed in three ways:
retaliatory violence, Northward migration, and organized non-violent protest.
There are records of
numerous instances of individual and collective acts of Black retaliatory
violence. Although retaliatory violence seemed unreasonable, and often led to
more lynching and violence, Blacks frequently armed themselves and fought back
Several Black leaders
advocated self-defense against mob attack. Through the pages of The
Crisis, W. E. B. DuBois occasionally encouraged Blacks to fight back.
“If we are to die,” he angrily wrote after a Pennsylvania mob lynched a
Negro in 1911 “in God’s name let us not perish like bales of hay.” Lynching, said
DuBois, would stop in the South “when the cowardly mob is faced
with effective guns in the hands of the people determined to sell their souls
dearly,” (Oct. 1916).
A. Phillip Randolph, editor of the militant Socialist
monthly, The Messenger, also
advocated physical resistance to white mobs: “The black man has no rights
which will be respected unless the black man enforces that respect...We are
consequently urging Negroes and other oppressed groups concerned with lynching
and mob violence to act upon the recognized and accepted law of self-defense.”18
The NAACP, considered moderate by Randolph, also defended the legality of Black
retaliatory self-defense from mob attack.
Poet Claude McKay, in
1921, captured the sentiment of many militant Negroes in his poem,
“If We Must
Die”: “If we must die/let it not be like hogs: hunted and penned in an
accursed spot!/...If we must die; oh let us nobly die/ dying but fighting
By the First World War,
Blacks were increasingly armed and prepared to defend themselves from mob
violence in many parts of the country, even in the deep South. In one case, the
mayor of Memphis, Tennessee was advised, “The Negroes would not make trouble
unless they were attacked, but in that event they were prepared to defend
themselves.” Most of the race riots were the result of Negro retaliation to
white acts of persecution and violence. However, in most cases, because of the
overwhelming white numerical superiority, Negro armed resistance was futile.
Another response of
disillusioned Black people to the southern reign of terror was the “Great
Migration” which began shortly before World War I. In the decade between 1910
and 1920, more than five hundred thousand Blacks fled from the social and
political oppression of the South to the overcrowded industrial centers of the
North. The number of Blacks in Northern cities increased substantially. Despite
southern efforts to halt the Black exodus, the annual rate of Black northward
migration reached seventy-five thousand by the 1920s.
protest, educating public opinion about the barbarity of lynching, and the
passage of federal anti-lynchings
legislation were seen by many Black leaders to
be the most effective weapons against anti-Black mob violence. The pioneer
organizer of the crusade against lynching was a Black woman named
Wells-Barnett. Mrs. Barnett, editor of the Memphis Free
Speech, had more to do with originating and carrying forward the
anti-lynching crusade than any other person. Almost single-handedly, she rallied
anti-lynching sentiment in the United states and England. She served as chairman
of the Anti-Lynching Bureau of the Afro-American Council. Mrs. Wells published
several pamphlets exposing the barbarity of lynchings,
Red Record written in 1894.
The struggle of Black
leaders and organizations to make lynchings a federal crime was long and futile.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, such organizations as the
Afro-American Council and the Niagara Movement, precursors of the NAACP,
demanded investigation of lynchings
and legislation to enforce the Fourteenth
and Fifteenth Amendments. In 1900, Negro Congressman George White introduced
America’s first anti-lynching bill, only to see it die in the House Judiciary
In the first year of
its existence, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
launched a vigorous campaign against lynching and all forms of racism and
discrimination. By 1918, The Crisis,
the NAACP organ, was alerting one hundred thousand people each month to the
horrors of mob violence and the demands of Black America. The NAACP’s Legal
Redress Committee attacked segregation and discrimination in the courts. The
NAACP’s attempts to secure federal anti-lynching legislation, such as the Dyer
Anti-Lynching Bill, were unsuccessful. However, the Association’s nationwide
and interracial fight against lynching eventually helped reduce the annual
number of lynchings in the United States.
* * * * *
Lynch Law (New
York, 1905), p. 1.
B. Revter, The American Race Problem
(New York, 1927), p. 367.
Jessie P., ed., 1952 Negro Yearbook
(New York, 1952), pp. 275-279.
An American Dilemma
(New York, 1944), pp. 560-561.
op. cit., p. 275-279.
op. cit., p. 561.
Rope and Faggot
(New York, 1929), p. 227.
op. cit., p. 224.
The Tragedy of
Lynching (Chapel Hill, 1933), pp. 13-14.
op. cit., pp. 563-564.
op. cit., p. 97.
op. cit., p. 566.
Race Riot in East St,
Louis (New York, 1964), p. 50.
Urban Racial Violence
(Beverly Hills, 1976), p. 37.
of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
(New York, 1968), p. 244.
op. cit., pp. 14-15.
Davis Graham and Ted Robert Gurr,
in America (New York, 1969), p. 402.
* * *
Urban Race Riots in the Jim Crow
Era: An Overview Essay
By Derrick Ward
The violent, racial
confrontations in which mobs of whites and blacks battled each other in U.S.
towns and cities during the Jim Crow era were triggered by some of the same
forces driving legalized segregation, disfranchisement, and the lynching of
thousands of African Americans. These explosions of urban violence against
blacks differed in several ways from the individual lynchings and systematic
terror practiced by organizations, such as the Ku Klux Klan, in the 1870s. For
one thing, the urban explosions were directed less at individuals and more at
entire black communities.
They also reflected more the anxieties felt by
lower-class whites, who feared competition with blacks for housing, employment,
and social status as African-American newcomers began moving into urban settings
following the Civil War. Also, although whites--who felt enraged by some real or
imaginary actions by blacks--always started these riots, black victims
increasingly defended themselves as best they could. Clearly, the race riots
also were backlashes by white Americans who reacted with contempt and rage to
black Americans' cries for equality, justice, and decency.
In general, the riots can be
studied according to different waves of white violence. The first wave occurred
in the post-bellum era of Reconstruction. Southern defeat, emancipation, and the
dramatic changes in the political and civil rights of blacks in the decade after
the Civil War presented dramatic challenges to white supremacy. White
supremacists, desperate to regain their political
power and restore their control over the recently emancipated African Americans,
instigated the birth of the Ku Klux Klan and its members' terrorist attacks on
individual blacks and white Republicans in the South, as well as mob attacks on
southern black communities.
Relatively few whites were killed in
these affairs, which peaked in the two years before the 1876 presidential
election. Some of the more serious outbreaks occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana
(1866), (1868), (1874), Memphis, Tennessee (1866), Meridian, Mississippi (1870),
Vicksburg, Mississippi (1874), and Yazoo City, Mississippi (1875).
The second wave of riots,
erupting in the last decade of the 19th and the first decade of the 20th
centuries, reflected the new era of stepped-up Jim Crow rhetoric and attempts to
legalize segregation and disfranchisement. Whites all over the nation
participated in this outbreak of racial politics, including many who feared
better relations among white and black farmers and the working poor posed by the
In this atmosphere, white supremacists used the same racist
justifications to violence as those who lynched individual blacks: namely, the
alleged desire of black men to rape white women. This decade also saw the
codification of Jim Crow segregation laws and the passage of disfranchisement
statutes and codes in most of the southern states. The United States Supreme
Court upheld the "separate but equal" doctrine in their 1896 Plessy v.
Ferguson decision, throwing the country's High Court on the side of white
At the same time, blacks began moving in ever-growing numbers to
urban centers, competing with lower-class whites for housing and employment,
while growing numbers of African-American professionals and officeholders began
successfully competing with their white counterparts for jobs. With all of these
factors in play, white violence erupted in many small towns and villages, and at
least ten--four of them in northern cities--escalated into major race riots:
Lake City, North Carolina (1898); Wilmington, North Carolina (1898); Greenwood
County, South Carolina (1898); New Orleans, Louisiana (1900); New York City, New
York (1900); Springfield, Ohio (1904); Atlanta, Georgia (1906); Greenburg,
Indiana (1906); Brownsville, Texas (1906); and Springfield, Illinois (1908).
The cluster of race riots, the
third wave, that broke out around the World War I period reflected both the
demands for justice by angry African Americans and the increasing competition
between blacks and whites brought on by the war and the black migration to urban
areas in the North.
In 1915, the new Ku Klux Klan spread nationwide and signs of
more virulent racism appeared in popular culture--such as in the film
Birth of A
Nation and in advertising--across the country.
These events fueled the already
uneasy fears of many lower-class whites about the growing presence of blacks
in their midst. As thousands of young men went off to war, labor shortages lured
larger numbers of black and white workers into urban centers throughout the
nation. Blacks began moving into previously all-white neighborhoods, creating
friction between the races. As black servicemen returned from Europe, they found
the old racial hostilities unacceptable after having fought in a "war to
make the world safe for democracy."
These black veterans, in the minds of
many whites, had become too "uppity" overseas and posed a threat to
white women as well as the social status of all white men.
Between 1917and 1921,
an unprecedented outbreak of racial violence swept across the nation. Over 20
race riots broke out between April and October 1919 alone, a six-month period
remembered as the "Red Summer." Among the most deadly outbreaks were
those in East St. Louis, Illinois (1917); Chester, Pennsylvania (1917);
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1917); Houston, Texas (1917); Washington, D.C.
(1919); Chicago, Illinois (1919); Omaha, Nebraska (1919); Charleston, South
Carolina (1919), Longview, Texas (1919); Knoxville, Tennessee (1919); Elaine,
Arkansas (1919); and Tulsa, Oklahoma (1921).
After the 1921 Tulsa riot and
except for the 1935 New York (Harlem) disturbances, no major racial riots
occurred until the world war era of the 1940s. Many of the same domestic
demographic and social changes affecting blacks and whites that had unfolded
during 1919 accompanied World War II, but this time, on a larger scale. The
competition between increasing numbers of working-class blacks and whites for
housing and employment in urban areas again set the stage for racial conflict.
Though the race riots during the World War II era race were far fewer (only
three) than their World War I precursors, they no less violent.
The 1943 Detroit
riot, for example, resulted in the deaths of 25 African Americans and nine
whites. The other two riots occurred in New York City (Harlem) and Columbia,
Tennessee, in 1943. Eight years later, the last major race riot before the 1960s
inner city explosions (which most historians view as rebellions rather than race
riots) erupted in Cicero, Illinois (1951).
Although urban race riots in the
United States between 1866-1951 were unique episodes rooted in the particular
historic situation of each place, they shared certain characteristics. To begin
with, the whites always prevailed, and the overwhelming majority of those who
died and were wounded in all of these incidents were blacks. They also tended to
break out in clusters during times of significant socio-economic, political, and
demographic upheaval when racial demographics were altered and existing racial
mores and boundaries challenged.
Perhaps most importantly, the riots usually
provoked defensive stances by members of the black communities who defended
themselves and their families under attack. Seldom did the violence spill over
into white neighborhoods. Finally, the riots greatly strengthened the resolve of
blacks to challenge white supremacy legally, intellectually, and
emotionally--producing greater efforts by organizations like the NAACP and
leaders such as W. E. B. Du Bois, as well as an outpouring of black cultural
manifestations of defiance identified with the "New Negro Movement" of
the Harlem Renaissance.
Bergman, Peter M.
History of the Negro in America. New York: Harper and Row, 1969.
Brown, Richard Maxwell.
Violence: Historical Studies of American Violence and Vigilantism. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1975.
Rable, George C.
But There Was no Peace: The
Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction. Athens,
Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1984.
The Crucible of Race:
Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1984.
Wilson, Charles Reagan and William Ferris, eds.
Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill: University
of North Carolina Press, 1989.
* * *
in Their Eyes
Blood in Their Eyes is required reading for every
Arkansas lawyer, because this time Grif Stockley reviews the work of a
real Gideon Page, a black lawyer named Scipio Jones who read law to
become licensed and became one of Arkansas' outstanding lawyers. Jones
is credited with one of the most important cases in American history, Moore
v. Dempsey 261 U.S. 86(1923), and standing alone many times, saved
the lives of 12 innocent, albeit convicted, black sharecroppers from
The Elaine race riot, as history until now
has called it, is an awful blemish on Arkansas history. It is such a
blemish that most historians have treated it lightly or shied away from
it. But Grif Stockley, an outstanding Arkansas lawyer in his own right,
is not known for shying away from much of anything, and he tackles the
issue head on in his first writing on Arkansas history. In typical
lawyer fashion Stockley analyzes the facts and writes his brief in
Blood in Their Eyes.
* * *
Otis G. Clark survivor of 1921 Tulsa
race riot dies at 109—Matt Schudel—26
May 2012—For years, few people dared to
speak about what happened on the night
of May 31, 1921, during
one of the most deadly and devastating
race riots in the nation’s history.
Otis G. Clark, who was 18 at the time,
had grown up in Greenwood, a thriving
African American section of Tulsa.
During a night that history almost
forgot, Mr. Clark dodged bullets, raced
through alleys to escape armed mobs and
saw his family’s home burned to the
ground. He fled Tulsa on a freight train
headed north. He would eventually move
to Los Angeles, where he was the butler
in the home of movie star Joan Crawford.
He later turned to preaching and was
known as the “world’s oldest
evangelist.” But for nine decades, he
remained a living witness to a night of
horror, when Greenwood died. Mr. Clark
died May 21 in Seattle at age 109,
family members told the Tulsa World
newspaper. The cause of death was not
disclosed. . . . A state commission
a report on the riot in 2001.
Granville Clark was born Feb. 13, 1903, in Meridian,
Okla., four years before Oklahoma became a state.
His father worked for the railroad. In a 2009
interview for a
Tulsa oral history project, Mr. Clark said one
of his jobs as a boy was selling vegetables and
groceries to a house occupied by what he called
Otis G. Clark was born on February 13, 1903, in
Oklahoma. At the time, Oklahoma was still Indian
Territory and it did not become a state until 1907.
At the age of 18, Otis was caught in the "1921
Tulsa Race Riot" in the Greenwood District of Tulsa,
Oklahoma. Greenwood, at the time, was a mecca for
African-Americans who, due to the oil boom, owned
their own successful businesses. Otis fled Tulsa,
riding the rails to California, seeking his
* * *
* * * * *
Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All
By Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons knows firsthand that
wealth is rooted in much more than the
market. True wealth has more to do with
what's in your heart than what's in your
wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons
became one of America's shrewdest
entrepreneurs, achieving a level of
success that most investors only dream
about. No matter how much material gain
he accumulated, he never stopped lending
a hand to those less fortunate. In
Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare
blend of spiritual savvy and
street-smart wisdom to offer a new
definition of wealth-and share timeless
principles for developing an unshakable
sense of self that can weather any
financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy
can make you money, but money can't make
* * * * *
The New Jim Crow
Mass Incarceration in the Age of
By Michele Alexander
Contrary to the
rosy picture of race embodied in Barack
Obama's political success and Oprah
Winfrey's financial success, legal
scholar Alexander argues vigorously and
persuasively that [w]e have not ended
racial caste in America; we have merely
redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial
segregation has been replaced by mass
incarceration as a system of social
control (More African Americans are
under correctional control today... than
were enslaved in 1850). Alexander
reviews American racial history from the
colonies to the Clinton administration,
delineating its transformation into the
war on drugs. She offers an acute
analysis of the effect of this mass
incarceration upon former inmates who
will be discriminated against, legally,
for the rest of their lives, denied
employment, housing, education, and
public benefits. Most provocatively, she
reveals how both the move toward
colorblindness and affirmative action
may blur our vision of injustice: most
Americans know and don't know the truth
about mass incarceration—Publishers
* * *
The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and
the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921
By Tim Madigan
Journalist Madigan (See
No Evil: Blind Devotion and Bloodshed
in David Koresh's Holy War)
here tackles one of America's worst race
riots, chronicling the shocking events
of May 31 and June 1, 1921 when a white
mob numbering in the thousands
obliterated the African American
community of Greenwood, OK, near Tulsa.
Race riots and tensions were very common
after World War I, but what makes the
Greenwood incident unique was the
unheard-of organization of the mob and
the completeness of the destruction (35
city blocks systematically burned and
destroyed along with hundreds of
casualties). Though it is arguably
America's worst race riot, surprisingly
little has been written about it in the
mainstream press. For this work, Madigan
relied on taped interviews of survivors
and witnesses, newspaper accounts,
scholarly papers and theses, and
interviews with the descendants of
survivors. What results is a highly
readable account of the circumstances
and history surrounding the event and
its aftermath. Truly an eye-opening
book, this is essential reading for
anyone struggling to understand race
relations in America. Highly recommended
for public and academic libraries.—Library
* * * * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
* * * * *
If you like this page consider making a donation
* * * * *
Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
* * * * *
The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
* * *
The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
* * * * *
* * * *
(Books, DVDs, Music, and more)
1 April 2012