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The 1919 Washington, D.C. Race Riot – Why It's Kept Quiet
Jul 29 – Aug 11, 2021
Praising the Past

red summer

The race riots of 1919 in Washington D.C. had more White casualties than Black, but this story has been buried until BNC (Black News Channel) correspondent Bofta Yimam dug it up. The six-minute segment includes commentary from Port Of Harlem’s CR Gibbs.  

Preceding the riot, were racially charged headlines that the NAACP asked the local media to stop printing. The press fueled anger in White men with stories about Black men assaulting White women in D.C. “They (the White press) didn’t pay attention. They were making money,” said Gibbs.

“The local leadership in DC started to tell gun stores to stop selling guns to African Americans in DC, so they then started getting guns from Baltimore,” added Lopez Matthews, Manager, Digital Production Center at Moorland–Spingarn Research Center, Howard University. Le Droit Park, a presitigous neighborhood south Howard Univeristy in the U Street area, was the epic center of the July 19, 1919 riot.
Black military men coming back from World War 1 were up on rooftops protecting their prosperous community. While the men were equipped with rifles to fight the battle, they resorted to throwing bricks. Some historians conclude that the story is not often told because learning of the numerous White casualties could spur more Black resistance.
The Red Summer refers to the race riots that occurred in more than three dozen cities in the United States during the summer and early autumn of 1919. In most instances, Whites attacked African Americans. In some cases many Blacks fought back, notably in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Elaine, Arkansas.

As first victim of Chicago's 1919 race riots finally receives a grave marker, here's a look at other notable people buried in Lincoln Cemetery.
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