Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America
  • Alternative view 1 of Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America
  • Alternative view 2 of Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America

Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America

5.0 8
by Cameron McWhirter
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0805089063

ISBN-13: 9780805089066

Pub. Date: 07/19/2011

Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.

A narrative history of America's deadliest episode of race riots and lynchings

After World War I, black Americans fervently hoped for a new epoch of peace, prosperity, and equality. Black soldiers believed their participation in the fight to make the world safe for democracy finally earned them rights they had been promised since the close of the Civil War

Overview

A narrative history of America's deadliest episode of race riots and lynchings

After World War I, black Americans fervently hoped for a new epoch of peace, prosperity, and equality. Black soldiers believed their participation in the fight to make the world safe for democracy finally earned them rights they had been promised since the close of the Civil War.

Instead, an unprecedented wave of anti-black riots and lynchings swept the country for eight months. From April to October of 1919, the racial unrest rolled across the South into the North and the Midwest, even to the nation's capital. Millions of lives were disrupted, and hundreds of lives were lost. Blacks responded by fighting back with an intensity and determination never seen before.

Red Summer is the first narrative history written about this epic encounter. Focusing on the worst riots and lynchings—including those in Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Houston; and St. Louis—Cameron McWhirter chronicles the mayhem, while also exploring the first stirrings of a civil rights movement that would transform American society forty years later.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805089066
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
07/19/2011
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
9.28(w) x 6.46(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

1 Carswell Grove 1

2 Things Fall Apart 12

3 The World Is on Fire 18

4 The NAACP 25

5 National Conference on Lynching 33

6 Charleston 41

7 Bombs and the Decline of the West 55

8 Ellisville 68

9 Cleveland 76

10 Longview 82

11 Washington 96

12 Chicago Is a Great Foreign City 114

13 The Beach 127

14 Like a Great Volcano 149

15 Austin 162

16 Knoxville 170

17 A New Negro 183

18 Omaha 192

19 Phillips County 208

20 Let the Nation See Itself 236

21 Capitol Hill 246

Coda: Carswell Grove 265

Acknowledgments 273

Notes 275

Bibliography 325

Index 339

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Edward Whitehead More than 1 year ago
RED SUMMER lays bare a sordid chapter of our racial past that should be taught in our schools. I was surprised at the violence, suffering and wanton disregard for human rights that marked the beginning of the Civil Rights movement. It is a celebration of heroic perserverance at great personal risk, as well as an exposition of cowardice and government inaction. I wish I had known about this years ago!
Ft-Defiance More than 1 year ago
This is a view of American History long overdue. Wide spread resistance to mob rule is a story that should be made clear to every American. The author is also a very adept scholar and author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nearly 5,000 black Americans were lynched between 1890 and 1960. There are two prevailing (and in a way, competing) perceptions about lynching in white communities today: 1) These were clandestine and regrettable acts perpetrated by a handful of outside agitators and "bad apples." 2) Lynching was the result of bad actions on the part of the victim. (In other words, they got what they deserved.) This book focuses on 1919, the record-breaking year in the history of lynching and mob violence. The Tuskegee Institute recorded 83 lynchings during what James Weldon Johnson called "the Red Summer." But 1919 also stands out because it marks the first time that blacks - including WWI veterans and the newly formed NAACP - fought back in the streets, in the courts and through the political process. What made 1919 so racially volatile? McWhirter traces several themes throughout the book, including: - the "Red Scare." in which government officials assumed a connection of black politicalization to radicalization; - the aftermath of WWI, which led black veterans to expect the same freedoms for which they'd fought overseas, and which created a backlash of hate and fear from the white community; - the Great Migration which saw thousands of blacks flee the South, only to encounter racism and violence in the North as well. The economic advancement of blacks in the post-slavery era also threatened whites - it's interesting to note how frequently a mere rumor of black misbehavior (like a black man having spoken to a white woman) would provoke mobs to destroy black-owned businesses. Sadly, I couldn't help thinking that the election of our first black president has elicited a similar though less physical racial response - "birthers" still deny he is American born, others claim he is a Socialist, and whole segments of the population would rather allow the economy to collapse than endure the success of a black president. McWhirter - a journalist - guides us through that year with an engaging narrative style firmly rooted in extensive and well-sourced research. Not surprisingly, newspapers figure prominently in his narrative, creating a sense of immediacy which makes this book difficult to put down. Highly recommended - a book I'd like to see on every library's shelf.
rdjehn More than 1 year ago
Understanding the source(s) of American racism are important if we are to ever eliminate it from our existence. This powerful history of the events of Summer 1919 gave me insight into prejudices I've experienced in my youth and adulthood that I found difficult to understand at the time. This is a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew very little about he problems our nation faced in the years after WWI. I found the subject extremely interesting and well presented by the author. Easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blythe McWhirter More than 1 year ago
This is going to be a great book!