Event—Public Programming

The Ordeal of the Jungle: The Chicago Federation of Labor and the Race Riot of 1919

In the summer of 1919, Chicago exploded in a firestorm of racial violence that left thirty-eight people dead and more than five hundred injured. In this colloquium, Prof. David Bates of Concordia University Chicago recounts the ways that Chicago’s black and white workers responded to those eight bloody days, tracing the city’s fraught history of interracial unionism, the emergence of violent racial clashes in the stockyards, and the desperate attempts of the Chicago Federation of Labor to preserve its tenuous coalition of black and white workers.