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Race Riots of the 1930s & 1940s Alyssa Engel StormPeriod 3.

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Presentation on theme: "Race Riots of the 1930s & 1940s Alyssa Engel StormPeriod 3."— Presentation transcript:

1 Race Riots of the 1930s & 1940s Alyssa Engel StormPeriod 3

2 A Race Riot, by definition, is an outbreak in violent civil disorder in which race is a key factor. This term entered the United States in the late 1800s.

3 Different Race Riots Sherman Race Riot1930Sherman, Texas Harlem Race Riot1935NYC, New York – sparked off by rumors of the beating and murder of a teenage shoplifter. – The riot started mainly because of African Americans rebelling because of the harsh treatment they were getting. – Three died, hundreds were wounded and an estimated $2 million in damages were sustained to properties throughout the district. Detroit Race Riot1943Detriot, Michigan – Started June 20, 1943 and lasted until June 23, – The police sympathized with the white rioters, shooting and killing 17 black rioters, and no whites.

4 Different Race Riots [continued] Peekskill Riots1943Peekskill, New York – catalyst for the rioting was an announced concert by black singer Paul Robeson, who was well known for his strong pro- trade union stance on civil rights and his out spoken beliefs in international socialism and anti-colonialist movements. – some of the concertgoers, and union members, along with writer Howard Fast and others assembled a non-violent line of resistance, locked arms, and sang the song "We Shall Not Be Moved. – Some people were reportedly dragged from their vehicles and beaten. – Over 140 people were injured and numerous vehicles were severely damaged as police stood by.

5 Different Race Riots [continued] Beaumont Race Riot1943Beaumont, TX – sparked by racial tensions that arose in this Texas shipbuilding center during World War II. The sudden influx of African American workers in industrial jobs in the Beaumont shipyard and the subsequent job competition with white workers forced race relations to a boiling point. – acting governor A.M. Aiken Jr. declared Beaumont to be under martial law – The declaration of martial law was lifted on June 20. – During the five day period 21 people were killed

6 Different Race Riots [continued] Zoot Suit Riots1943Los Angeles, California – between white sailors and Marines stationed throughout the city and Latino youths, who were recognizable by the zoot suits they favored. – While Mexican Americans were the primary targets of military servicemen, African American and Filipino/Filipino American youth were also targeted. – The Zoot Suit Riots were in part the effect of the infamous Sleepy Lagoon murder which involved the death of a young Latino man in a barrio near Los Angeles. – =related =related

7 Relation to Invisible Man Most race riots were not an overnight affair. They were the result of tensions built up over a period of time. Throughout Invisible Man, tensions within the brotherhood, and IMs ideals grew, up until the Race Riot in Harlem Invisible Man ends with a massive Harlem race riot, fueled by anger over Clifton's death and the tension between the Brotherhood and the followers of Ras. He realizes that even in trying to subvert the Brotherhood, he has only aided its white-controlled interests in helping to start a race riot that will generate sympathy and propaganda for the organization. Ellison uses the idea of the Race Riots to show the tensions between the whites and blacks. The riot forces IM into a self-conscious realm where he embraces his blackness and his invisibility.


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