Chicago Race Riot of 1919

By Dariel Armstrong

What is the Chicago Race Riot of 1919?

The Chicago Race Riot is a huge riot that happened in Chicago during the time of segregation. On July 27, 1919, an African-American teenager was drowned and stoned by a group of white youths in Lake Michigan after violating the unofficial segregation of Chicago’s beaches. The polices refusal to arrest the white man and the death of the 17-year-old boy sparked riots. The incident got around and both races gathered for fights. The riots lasted for 13 days. ("The Chicago Race Riot of 1919.")

Why it happened

Racial tension was mostly on the South Side of Chicago due to the pressure for adequate housing. The black population nearly tripled from 1910 to 1920. ("Chicago Race Riot of 1919 | United States History.") The tension wasn't only from the incident, it was built up anger from the blacks and whites. Black veterans who risked their lives fighting for freedom found themselves being cheated of their basic rights. The Ku Klux Klan organization made a comeback starting with over 120 lynches in 1918 and 1919. Race riots broke out in several cities but most dramatically in Chicago. ("The Chicago Race Riot of 1919.")
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How was it resolved?

After the riots ended, they suggested zoning laws to segregate housing in Chicago and prevent blacks from working in what would seen be white industries. Many African American and liberal white voters rejected this suggestion. Woodrow Wilson wanted to resolve the racial problems by punishing the ¨white race¨ so he came up with organizations to look into the real causes of the riots and how to resolve them known as, Chicago Commission on Race Relations. It included six black men and six white men which suggest issues like job competition and housing options for blacks. ("The Chicago Race Riot of 1919.")

Work cited

"The Chicago Race Riot of 1919." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2016.

"Chicago Race Riot of 1919 | United States History." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2016.