It has been more than 100 years since our country experienced an unfortunate period of racial unrest all across the United States dubbed “The Red Summer.”
Journalist Cameron McWhirter called the summer of 1919 the “worst spate of race riots and lynchings in American history.”
For roughly an eight-month period that stretched from late winter to fall, the country was plagued by dozens of racial riots throughout the country following the end of World War I.
The fighting resulted in hundreds of deaths and caused civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson to coin the term “Red Summer.”
Sadly, there probably wasn’t a more appropriate term for what took place.
The cause of the riots was the desire of many white Americans to have society return to what they felt was a pre-war status quo, where segregation, exclusion and discrimination were rampant in workplaces, housing, elections and businesses.
During the war, industries that typically segregated Black people allowed them to work for their companies due to labor shortages.
Black people also fought overseas in the war and hoped once the war ended, there would be more equality for them in society as a result of their contributions.