The Mob Violence of the Red Summer

By: Matthew Wills | JSTOR Daily

The long “Red Summer of 1919” saw a brutal outburst of mob violence directed against African Americans across the country. James Weldon Johnson, field secretary of the NAACP, was the one to name it the “Red Summer.” This “red” was for blood. Among other horrors, there were race riots, ninety-seven lynchings, and a pogrom-like massacre of somewhere between 100 and 237 people in Elaine, Arkansas.

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