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Dr. Eric Allen Hall Associate Professor of History at Northern Illinois University examines the causes, events, and legacy of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot through the experiences of those who witnessed the violence.
Health science, psychology, and history faculty will discuss the racial health disparities and inequities that the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed. They will discuss access to healthcare, culturally appropriate healthcare and the legacies of the past that still impact community health today.
Literature faculty discuss poems in Eve Ewing’s book 1919. This discussion will explore history through the lens of poetry while connecting Ewing’s works to other historic and contemporary poets and artists.This event is part of our One Book, One College Program.
History faculty explore the historic context of Eve Ewing’s book 1919. They will look at the early 20th Century but also connect Ewing’s work to broader Chicago & US history. This event is part of our One Book, One College Program.
Faculty and staff were invited to record their reactions to Eve Ewing's book 1919. Thanks to Dewitt Scott, Amani Wazwaz, Merrie Fefles, and Shanya Gray for offering this thoughts on 1919.
1919 Virtual Book Displays
- Virtual Book Display: Racial Health Disparities: Equity in Light of Covid-19
Resources on healthcare inequalities. This includes YouTube videos, ebooks, books, and other items.
- Virtual Book Display: The 1919 Chicago Race Riot: A Talk by Dr. Eric Allen Hall
Historic sources on the 1919 riots. This includes YouTube videos, ebooks, books, and other items.
"Radically different and radically unchanged..."
In July of 1919, Eugene Williams, an African-American boy, accidentally floated into the “whites-only” section of the 29th Street beach on Lake Michigan. White sunbathers started throwing rocks. After being struck by a rock, Williams drowns. The South Side of Chicago exploded. Racism, neighborhood segregation, and economic instability became a tinder box that when lit, raged out of control. Once the fires were extinguished, 38 people were dead and 1000s were homeless. The 1919 Chicago riot was the worst out of over twenty riots across the United States that became known as the “Red Summer.”
Eve Ewing’s book 1919 asks us to remember this often forgotten event. As she notes in the introduction, “This collection of poems is meant as a small offering, an entry point into a conversation about a part of our history that I think is worth talking about much more than we do” (p. 4) .
In 1919, Ewing presents us with poetry that is accessible, yet deftly complex. Each poem connects with the official report that was published after the riots. She connects us to the history but helps us to feel the time and place in ways that that a “standard” history does not. Ewing explores the before, during, and after of the 1919 riots touching on the murder of Emmett Till, the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the murder of Laquan McDonald.