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Black studies
American history
Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America
 
 
Author
Cameron McWhirter.
Publisher Henry Holt  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.25 inches
ISBN 9780805089066
Pages/Publication Date 352/2011
Daedalus Item Code 30928
This item is not available.
Description
After World War I, 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, while all black Americans fervently hoped for a new epoch of peace, prosperity, and equality. Instead, an unprecedented wave of race riots and lynchings swept the country from April to November of 1919. Focusing on the worst of these—in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Charleston, Omaha, and Knoxville—Cameron McWhirter chronicles both the mayhem and the first stirrings of a civil rights movement that would transform American society 40 years later.

"That it is one of the most shameful periods in our history is beyond question. Yet McWhirter is right to insist that during this same time, forgotten though it may be, 'Black America awakened politically, socially, and artistically [as] never before.' The first stirrings of what became the Harlem Renaissance were felt, and seeds were planted that bore fruit in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. As McWhirter says, if you explore the whole story of those troubled months, you are left not thinking of America's bald and cruel failings, but of its astounding and elastic resilience. Red Summer is a story of destruction, but it is also a story of the beginning of a freedom movement."—Washington Post

"McWhirter makes clear in his carefully researched, briskly narrated account of this difficult period in our national history, African Americans were increasingly disinclined to take advice from even well-meaning whites. The NAACP, founded in 1909 by a primarily white group of Northern liberals, was transformed by the events of 1919 into America's premier civil rights organization, led by African Americans from the South."—LATimes

 
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