By Charles Lumpkins

On July 2 and three, 1917, race riots rocked the small commercial urban of East St. Louis, Illinois. American Pogrom takes the reader past that pivotal time within the city’s background to discover black people’s activism from the antebellum period to the eve of the post–World conflict II civil rights movement.

Charles Lumpkins exhibits that black citizens of East St. Louis had engaged in formal politics because the 1870s, exerting impression throughout the poll and during patronage in a urban ruled via strong genuine property pursuits whilst many African americans in other places skilled setbacks in exercise their political and monetary rights.

While Lumpkins asserts that the race riots have been a pogrom—an equipped bloodbath of a selected ethnic group—orchestrated by means of yes businessmen reason on combating black citizens from reaching political energy and on turning the town right into a “sundown” city completely cleared of African americans, he additionally demonstrates how the African American neighborhood survived. He situates the actions of the black voters of East St. Louis within the context of the bigger tale of the African American quest for freedom, citizenship, and equality.

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Additional resources for American Pogrom: The East St. Louis Race Riot and Black Politics

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47 African American parents demanded that the East St. Louis school board either allow black children to attend white schools or improve black schools. In August , black residents decided against sending their children to classes in a building in need of repair. At least eighteen black men and women met at the black-owned Brady Avenue Baptist Church to discuss public education. 1-108 6/13/08 4:35 PM Page 37 B. Saunders as president, laborer and minister the Reverend Park Hutchinson as vice president, and William Eagleson as secretary, and together they petitioned the school board to provide equal education to black children in safe facilities.

Enslaved Africans and African Americans in French colonial Illinois, a frontier society, did not produce commodities for the world economic market as did slaves in the plantation regions of the Caribbean and Latin America and in the southern colonies of British North America. Instead, they engaged in a variety of tasks, from clearing land to laboring on farms and in workshops. Their enslavement remained the same after , when France ceded Illinois to Great Britain upon the cessation of the French and Indian War (the American theater of the Seven Years’ War in Europe), and after , when Great Britain handed the territory over to the United States after the American Revolutionary War.

Louis gained a diverse array of manufacturers, none of which governed the local economy. By , East St. Louis and its environs hosted a major stockyard, several meatpacking plants, glass works, food processing plants, a lead smelter, iron foundries, steel mills, breweries, lumberyards, roofing and other building material companies, cement-making firms, and paint factories, among numerous others. 26 Many of the companies recruited to the East St. ” Such firms processed raw materials into components that other companies then converted into products.

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