Charting the History of Racial Violence in Chicago

Michelle Duster SAVE THIS

Chicago Police Department officers walk down Michigan Ave during protest of last year’s shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white policeman and the city’s handling of the case at an intersection in the downtown shopping district of Chicago, Illinois, November 27, 2015.  (Reuters)

Chicago is known for many things, including its skyscrapers, creative architecture, beautiful lakefront, extreme weather, cultural institutions, and musics. Long viewed as one of the most segregated cities in the country, Chicago’s contemporary realities were shaped by its contentious past and the deliberate policies instituted after the devastating 1919 Race Riots during what observers have termed “The Red Summer.” Many people today know little about the widespread racial violence during that summer, but historian Peter Cole, of Western Illinois University, is working to create markers throughout the city that will memorialize the victims.

The Red Summer emerged against the backdrop of the…

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