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American Poems: Books: The Chicago Race Riots, July, 1919
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The Chicago Race Riots, July, 1919

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  • Seller:betterworldbooks_
  • Sales Rank:7,021,905
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Published)
  • Media:Hardcover
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Edition:F Second Edition
  • Pages:82
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):1.6
  • Dimensions (in):9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1
  • Publication Date:1969
  • ASIN:B0006C01WE
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Editorial Reviews:
a selection from the beginning of the first chapter The so-called race riots in Chicago during the last week of July, 1919, started on a Sunday at a bathing beach. A colored boy swam across an imaginary segregation line. White boys threw rocks at him and knocked him off a raft. He was drowned. Colored people rushed to a policeman and asked for the arrest of the boys throwing stones. The policeman refused. As the dead body of the drowned boy was being handled, more rocks were thrown, on both sides. The policeman held on to his refusal to make arrests. Fighting then began that spread to all the borders of the Black Belt. The score at the end of three days was recorded as twenty negroes dead, fourteen white men dead, and a number of negro houses burned. The riots furnished an excuse for every element of Gangland to go to it and test their prowess by the most ancient ordeals of the jungle. There was one section of the city that supplied more white hoodlums than any. other section. It was the district around the stockyards and packing houses. I asked Maclay Hoyne, states attorney of Cook County, "Does it seem to you that you get more tough birds from out around the stockyards than anywhere else in Chicago?" And he answered that more bank robbers, payroll bandits, automobile bandits, highwaymen and strong-arm crooks come from this particular district than any other that has come to his notice during seven years of service as chief prosecuting official. And I recalled that a few years ago a group of people from the University of Chicago came over into the stockyards district and made a survey. They went into one neighborhood and asked at every house about how the people lived—and died. They found that seven times as many white hearses haul babies along the streets here as over in the lake shore district a mile east. Their statement of scientific fact was that the infant mortality was seven times higher here proportionately, than a mile to the east in a district where housing and wages are different. So on the one hand we have blind lawless government failing to function through policemen ignorant of Lincoln, the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and a theory sanctioned and baptized in a storm of red blood. And on the other hand we have a gaunt involuntary poverty from which issues the hoodlum. At least three conditions marked the events of violence in Chicago in July, 1919, and gave the situation a character essentially different from the backgrounds of other riots. Here are factors that give the Chicago flare-up historic import: 1. The Black Belt population of 50,000 in Chicago was more than doubled during the war. No new houses or tenements were built. Under pressure of war industry the district, already notoriously overcrowded and swarming with slums, was compelled to have and hold in its human dwelling apparatus more than twice as many people as it held before the war. 2. The Black Belt of Chicago is probably the strongest effective unit of political power, good or bad, in America. It connects directly with a city administration decisive in its refusal to draw the color line, and a mayor whose opponents failed to defeat him with the covert circulation of the epithet of "nigger lover." To such a community the black doughboys came back from France and the cantonment camps. Also it is known that hundreds—it may be thousands—have located in Chicago in the hope of permanent jobs and homes in preference to returning south of Mason and Dixon's line, where neither a world war for democracy, nor the Croix de Guerre, nor three gold chevrons, nor any number of wound stripes, assures them of the right to vote or to have their votes counted or to participate responsibly in the elective determinations of the American republic. 3. Thousands of white men and thousands of...

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