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Black History Month: East St Louis Massacre of 1917

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The East Saint Louis Race Riot of 1917  -   This was a bloody outbreak of violence in East St. Louis, Illinois, stemming specifically from the employment of black workers in a factory that was holding government contracts. Although this was a tough period in America for the shift that was happening with the population, it was the worst of many incidents of racial antagonism in the United States during World War I that were directed especially toward black Americans who were now being newly employed in war industries. In the riot, whites turned on blacks, indiscriminately stabbing, clubbing, and hanging them and driving 6,000 from their homes; 40 blacks and 8 whites were killed.

Dr. Carol Anderson, Professor of African American Studies at Emory University in Atlanta will lead us in a detailed review of the struggle that occurred in East St Louis and what it might say to us today.