Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots | Newberry

Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots

Photo: Chicago Tribune Archives/TNS

A series of public programs examining the legacy of the 1919 Chicago race riots
Saturday, February 23, 2019Thursday, November 14, 2019

All event information can be found at https://chicago1919.org/events 

Held at locations across Chicago
Open to the Public

Chicago’s 1919 race riots barely register in the city’s current consciousness, yet they were a significant turning point in shaping the racial divides we see today. The Newberry Library and 13 other Chicago institutions have organized Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots, a year-long initiative funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, engaging in public conversations about the legacy of the most violent week in Chicago history.

Chicago 1919 is guided by the belief that the 1919 race riots can serve as a lens for understanding Chicago today. Racial tensions related to policing, migration, and housing all came to a head in 1919. By reflecting on the past 100 years, Chicagoans may see how our current racial divisions evolved from the race riots, as the marginalization of African Americans in Chicago became institutionalized through increasingly sophisticated forms of discrimination.

People across Chicago are invited to share in our collective reckoning with a little-known yet tremendously consequential chapter in the city’s history.

Read the Newberry’s announcement about the project, and visit Chicago1919.org to learn about the series of events, explore digital resources, and more.

Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Our Youth Engagement Sponsor is Allstate. The project is made possible in part by the generous support of Edith Rasmussen Ahern and Patrick Ahern.

Schedule of Events

Find registration links on the individual event pages.

Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots, Opening Event

Chris Benson, Lee Bey, Eve L. Ewing, Armand Gonzalzes, Claire Hartfield, Christopher Reed, Robin Robinson
Saturday, February 23, 2 to 5 pm
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 East 56th Place

Reporting on Race: From The Chicago Defender and Carl Sandburg to Chicago Journalism Today

Angela Ford, Darryl Holiday, Ethan Michaeli
Thursday, April 4, 6 to 8 pm
This event is part of City Bureau’s Public Newsroom series at the Experimental Station
6100 South Blackstone Avenue

Migration and Housing: A Century of Color Lines

Lee Bey, Tanesha House, Brad Hunt
Saturday, May 4, 1 to 3 pm
Homan Square Power House Great Hall
931 South Homan Avenue

Segregation and Public Education: Separate and Not Equal in 20th-Century Chicago

Jennifer Johnson, Elizabeth Todd-Breland
Saturday, June 1, 1 to 2:15 pm
Harold Washington Library Center, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
400 South State Street

’63 Boycott: Film Screening and Discussion

Rachel Dickson, Tracye Matthews, Gordon Quinn, Rosie Simpson
Saturday, June 1, 2:30 to 4 pm
Harold Washington Library Center, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
400 South State Street

Bike Tour: Visualizing the 1919 Riots in Today’s Chicago

Facilitated by Blackstone Bicycle Works
Saturday, June 29, 10 am to 1 pm
Check website for details

Legacies of 1919: The Bughouse Square Debates

Natalie Moore, Charles Whitaker
Saturday, July 27, 12 to 4 pm
Washington Square Park
901 North Clark Street

Reflections of Youth: Spoken Word Performance and Conversation

Kevin Coval, Members of the 2019 Louder than a Bomb Squad
Monday, August 12, 6 to 8 pm,
Harold Washington Library Center, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
400 South State Street

The Language of Bronzeville: Literature and Race in Chicago

Eve L. Ewing, Nate Marshall, Liesl Olson, Ken Warren
Tuesday, September 24, 6 to 7:30 pm
Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street

Policing Racial Violence: 1919 and Beyond

Simon Balto, Robin Robinson
Tuesday, October 15, 7 to 8:30 pm
Chicago History Museum
1601 North Clark Street

Red Summer/Winter Blues

Screening and discussion of the rough cut documentary
Barbara Allen, Cameron McWhirter, Jacqueline Stewart
Thursday, November 14, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 East 56th Place

Chicago 1919 Project Partners

Black Chicago History Forum
Black Metropolis Research Consortium
Blackstone Bicycle Works
Chicago Architectural Club
Chicago Collections Consortium
Chicago History Museum
Chicago Public Library
Chicago Urban League
City Bureau
DuSable Museum of African American History
Kartemquin Films
Middle Passage Productions
Newberry Library
Young Chicago Authors

Cost and Registration Information 

Register to attend these free public programs at http://chicago1919.org/events