A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919

As a lifelong Chicagoan, I’m surprised that I had never learned of this time in the cities history. In all honesty, we haven’t come too far in race relations, and I think this book paints a picture of how things were and help kids try and change the way things are today.  Chicago was and still is a segregated city to some extent. “A Few Drops” focuses on the Stockyard, the burgeoning labor unions, Eastern European immigration, and the vast migration and the effects of housing discrimination as a formula for disaster. I’ll be using it in our curriculum next Spring as part of our social studies curriculum. I’m running short on time today. This is from the publisher:

On a hot day in July 1919, five black youths went swimming in Lake Michigan, unintentionally floating close to the “white” beach. An angry white man began throwing stones at the boys, striking and killing one. Racial conflict on the beach erupted into days of urban violence that shook the city of Chicago to its foundations. This mesmerizing narrative draws on contemporary accounts as it traces the roots of the explosion that had been building for decades in race relations, politics, business, and clashes of culture. Archival photos and prints, source notes, bibliography, index.

Verdict- Buy

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 By Claire Hartfield  January 2, 2018

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