Charles L. Lumpkins shows that black residents of East St. Louis had engaged in formal politics since the 1870s, exerting influence through the ballot and through patronage in a city dominated by powerful real estate interests even as many African Americans elsewhere experienced setbacks in exercising their political and economic rights.
While Lumpkins asserts that the race riots were a pogrom-an organized massacre of a particular ethnic group-orchestrated by certain businessmen intent on preventing black residents from attaining political power and on turning the city into a "sundown" town permanently cleared of African Americans, he also demonstrates how the African American community survived. He situates the activities of the black citizens of East St. Louis in the context of the larger story of the African American quest for freedom, citizenship, and equality.
About the Author:
Charles L. Lumpkins teaches history and African American studies at the Pennsylvania State University
About the Author
Charles Lumpkins teaches history and African American studies at the Pennsylvania State University.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations vii
List of Tables ix
Historical Roots of an African American Community, 1800-1898 11
The African American Political Experience, 1898-1915 44
The May Uprising: An End to Expanding Black Power 74
The July Massacre: "We'll Have a White Man's Town" 109
Return to the Political Arena, 1917-1929 143
Breaking the Deadlock, 1930-1945 174