Hundreds of black deaths in Red Summer ignored century later

One hundred years ago, America suffered through one of the biggest outbreaks of racial violence against African Americans in its history, and few people know about it.

Red Summer, as the summer of 1919 came to be known, saw white-on-black violence in big cities like Washington and Chicago and small towns like Elaine, Arkansas, and Bisbee, Arizona.

Historians estimate more than 200 African Americans were killed by whites.

The violence that summer also sparked African Americans – especially returning black World War I soldiers – to take up arms and fight back against white mobs.

Historians say little is known about this period because it doesn’t fit into myths about the World War I “Great War” era or the history of blacks gaining rights in America.

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