July 27, 1919: The Chicago Race Riot Begins

0 Posted by - July 27, 2018 - JIM CROW, LATEST POSTS, Looking Black On Today

(Pictured is an African American man that was stoned to death by whites during the Chicago Race Riot of 1919) 

The Chicago Race Riot was a major racial conflict that began on July 27th and ended on August 3rd. The combination of prolonged arson, looting and murder was the worst race rioting in the history of Illinois.

38 people died (23 African Americans and 15 whites), 537 were injured (two-thirds were African Americans).
Patrolman John W. Simpson was the only policeman who was killed in the riot.
1000 residents, mostly African Americans, were left homeless after fires destroyed their homes. Numerous African-American families left the city by train before the rioting had ended, returning to families in the South.
Racial tensions between whites and blacks that had been going on for so long exploded in 5 days of violence that started on July 27, 1919.

On that hot summer day, on a segregated Chicago beach, a white man was throwing rocks at black swimmers in the water at a beach on the South Side which resulted in Eugene William’s death. 

Tensions escalated when a white police officer not only failed to arrest the white man responsible for William’s death, but arrested a black man instead.
Objections by black observers were met with violence by whites. Attacks between white and black mobs erupted swiftly. 

At one point, a white mob threatened Provident Hospital, many of whose patients were African American. The police successfully held them off.





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