David Krugler1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back

Cambridge University Press, 2014

by Mireille Djenno on February 13, 2015

David Krugler

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[Cross-posted from New Books in African American Studies] In 1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back (Cambridge University Press, 2014), David Krugler chronicles the origins and development of ten major race riots that took place in the United States during that year. Although sustained, anti-black violence both predates and succeeds the year under examination,  1919 distinguishes itself by the sheer number of major racial conflicts occurring between late 1918 and late 1919. Krugler argues that these riots can be seen as a direct result of the societal upheavals engendered by the Great War and less directly, as a continuation of Reconstruction violence. Krugler uses the term “race riot” as shorthand for “anti-black collective violence”, which took several forms including mob attacks and lynchings and describes the similarly systematic resistance to this campaign of terror as a three-front war fought by African Americans.

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