“Lumpkins reveals the engagement of political and economic insiders in shaping both the violence and its aftermath, and in so doing he presents a model for understanding racial violence that both highlights black political activism and reminds us of the costs that maintaining white supremacy imposed on the black community and the nation.”
The Journal of American History
“Charles Lumpkins provides an important reinterpretation of the 1917 East St. Louis Race Riot. In American Pogrom, he challenges Elliott Rudwick’s classic Civil Rights-era account, Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, 1917 (1964).
Reflecting a generational paradigm shift in historical scholarship, Lumpkins respectfully repudiates Rudwick’s interpretation.”
Journal of Illinois History
“In expanding on the sources of Rudwick and McLaughlin, Lumpkin instead emphasizes black political activity and community-building thatgiven the voting potential of oncoming black migrantsthreatened white powerbrokers, who promoted racial fear and violence.”
American Studies Journal
”Whereas previous scholars placed the responsibility for the riot on white working-class males concerned about social strife, Lumpkins argues that city elites, women, and political bosses played an integral role in this destructive demonstration of white superiority.”
Indiana Magazine of History
“American Pogrom deserves a wide audience among historians, although some readers may find themselves overwhelmed by the machinations of East St. Louis politics.
Lumpkins’s insights should intrigue and inspire other scholars.”
“Often comparing the East St. Louis experience with that of other urban centers, (American Pogrom) establishes the context of a continual struggle for equality from the nineteenth century to the present, using solidarity, political savvy and determination.”
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