Data gathering worksheet - Great Migration inquiry - SAMPLE

 

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the role of black elected officials

Claim:  black politicians/leaders did not effectively respond to the needs of blacks, instead they were controlled by white politicians 

Evidence: 
ãThe colored people have simply been sold out by colored leaders. Our leaders are in the hands of white politicians. That is the whole situation in a nutshell. We need representatives who are strictly representative, who are responsible first of all to the people of the ward.ä - Dr. George C. Hall quote after the 1919 Chicago Race Riot

Evidence: 
Politically the race has shown no great civic advance.  It is still the prey of machine politics of both the white and colored races and it is subject to the same demoralization which is manifest in the rest of a community whose politics is spoil-ridden.  Negro civic leaders deplore this condition but rightly argue that until the rest of the community progresses the Negroe group should not be condemned for it lethargy and civic backwardness. - Journal of Negro History 1928

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segregation in the north

Claim: there specific areas of the beath reserved for white-only 

Evidence: 
Cook County (Ill.). Coroner.The Race Riots: Biennial Report 1918-1919 and....
Page Images:  Page 27
 

Segregation on the beac

Evidence: 

ãIt appears to me that the best information at hand indicated that this had its origin in or was occasioned by the same old thing, race prejudice, race restriction, which essayed to express itself by stopping two colored boys from bathing or swimming in a certain locality supposed to be pre-empted by white bathers,ä said Dr. Williams to-day. ãIt was but another expression of force to take away from the members of my race the right granted to us by law. Let the best white and colored people come together and form a program that will protect us all and save this cityâs fair name.ä - Pastor Dr. K. L. Williams from Chicago Daily News riot report

Claim: segregration was backed by law enforcement in the north 

Evidence: 
"In all parts of the city, white mobs dragged from surface cars, black passengers wholly ignorant of any trouble, and set upon them. An unidentified man,    young woman and a 3 month old baby were found dead on the street at the intersection of 47th   street and Wentworth avenue. She had attempted to board a car there when the mob seized her, beat her, slashed her body into ribbons and beat the Baby's brains out against a telegraph pole. Not satisfied with this, one rioter severed her breasts and a white youngster bore it aloft on   pole, triumphantly, while the crowd hooted gleefully. All the time this was happening, several  policemen were in the crowd, but did not make any attempt to make rescue until too late." - Chicago Defender report on the race riot

Evidence: 
"The segregation line on the bathing beach was drawn by the police. Then when a boy got over the line and trouble arose, the police immediately spread their men out through the district. Wherever colored people were in the habit of congregating peacefully squads of policemen were placed. They drew the color line and followed a policy precisely as the authorities do in Georgia." - Dr. George C. Hall quote after the 1919 Chicago Race Riot
 
 

Claim: blacks were forced to live in segregated areas consisting of subpar housing and poor environments 

Evidence: 
Mr. Aö thinks there would be no housing problem if prejudice were not so marked. He mentioned a subdivision east of Stony Island Avenue where it is specifically stated that Negroes are not desired. Homes there are being sold for prices within the reach of Negroes, and he feels that at least 500 Negroes would be glad to pay cash for such homes anywhere in Chicago if they were given the opportunity. He feels that proper protection should be given Negroes against bombers. - from a Charles Johnson interview

Evidence: 
There were some complaints of political exploitation and of being obliged to live in proximity to gambling and vice that were encouraged by political bosses in their neighborhoods. - from an analysis of the causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot  by Charles Johnson

Evidence: 
Conditions are not all that they would like. They would like to see Negroes allowed to live anywhere they choose without hindrance, they would suppress moving pictures that reveal murder, drinking, and similar acts that lead young people to commit crimes. They would also like to see newspapers abandon their habit of printing articles that are derogatory to the Negro, thus creating prejudice, and of printing items unfit for children. Also they would like to see better homes for Negroes. - from an interview conducted by Charles Johnson in his analysis of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot

Claim: often whites resisted housing integration in the north 
 

Evidence: 
The white people of the neighborhood objected to having the building occupied by Negroes. White boys of the neighborhood stoned the building, and its tenants were obliged to call upon the police for protection. This antagonism now seems to have disappeared. The white and Negro children play together amicably. - from a Charles Johnson interview

Evidence: 
  Although many Negroes had been living in ãwhiteä neighborhoods, the increased exodus from the old areas created an hysterical group of persons who formed ãProperty Ownersâ Associationä for the purpose of keeping intact white neighborhoods. Prominent among these was the Kenwood-Hyde Park Property Ownerâs Improvement Association, as well as the Park Manor Improvement Association. Early in June the writer, while in Chicago, attended a private meeting of the first named at the Kenwood Club House, at Lake Park Avenue and 47th Street. Various plans were discussed for keeping the Negroes in ãtheir part of the town,ä such as securing the discharge of colored persons from positions they held when they attempted to move into ãwhiteä neighborhoods, purchasing mortgages of Negroes buying homes and ejecting them when mortgage notes fell due and were unpaid, and many more of the same calibre. The language of many speakers was vicious and strongly prejudicial and had the distinct effect of creating race bitterness. - Walter White analysis of the causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot

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 Claim: whites violently resisted housing integration in Chicago in the war condition of a hiatus of residential construction 

Evidence: 
Due to a hiatus in residential construction during the war... - Journal of Negro History 1966 Stanley B. Norvell

Evidence: 
From March, 1918, to the outbreak of the riot, 25 bombs rocked the homes of blacks and the homes and offices of the realtors of both races...Another was addressed to the black tenants on Vincennes Avenue: "We are going to BLOW these FLATS TO HELL and if you don't want to go with them you had better move at once." - Journal of Negro History 1970 by William M. Tuttle

 

Rights in the North 

Claim: blacks were treated better in the north 
 

Evidence: 
They enjoy theãfreedom of speech and actionä allowed in Chicago, the privilege of voting, the freedom from segregation, and the absence of Jim Crow laws. They think Chicago is fair to Negroes in so far as laws are concerned, but believe there should be better enforcement of the laws. - from a Charles Johnson interview

Evidence: 
The white people of the neighborhood objected to having the building occupied by Negroes. White boys of the neighborhood stoned the building, and its tenants were obliged to call upon the police for protection. This antagonism now seems to have disappeared. The white and Negro children play together amicably. - from a Charles Johnson interview

Evidence: 
She feels a greater freedom here because of the right to vote, the better treatment accorded by white people, the lack of ãJim Crowä laws. She likes the North because of the protection afforded by the law and the better working conditions.ãYou donât have an overseer always standing over you,ä she remarked. - an interview from the analysis of the 1919 Chicago Race Riots
 by Charles Johnson

Evidence: 
  The mixed schools in the North are especially appreciated because no discrimination can creep in. The general lack of segregation on street cars, in parks, and in similar public places also pleases them. - from an interview by Charles Johnson in his analysis of the 1919 Chicago Race Riots
 

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Black Political Motives

Claim: blacks voted for candidates they thought would gain blacks rights as citizens 
 

Evidence: 
In talking with a prominent colored citizen of Chicago, asking why the Negroes supported Thompson so unitedly, his very significant reply was:

ãThe Negro in Chicago, as in every other part of America, is fighting for the fundamental rights of citizenship. If a candidate for office is wrong on every other public question except this, the Negroes are going to vote for that man, for that is their only way of securing the things they want and that are denied them.ä - Walter White analysis of 1919 Chicago Race Riots

Law enforcement discrimination

Claim: police did not actively pursue whites who engaged in crimes against blacks 

Evidence: 

Cleveland Advocate

30 Race Men Indicted in Chicago Riot Probe; Only Three Whites

Volume: 06 
Issue Number: 15 
Page Number: 01 
Date: 08/16/1919

Injustice of law discrimination. 

Evidence: 
In a number of cases during the period from January, 1918, to August, 1919, there were bombings of colored homes and houses occupied by Negroes outside of the ãBlack Belt.ä During this period no less than twenty bombings took place, yet only two persons have been arrested and neither of the two has been convicted, both cases being continued. - Walter White analysis of 1919 Chicago Race Riot

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Claim: police protection was not provided to blacks in Chicago 

Evidence: 
"This recent explosion could have been easily prevented by the police," exclaimed the Defender.  But not only did the police seem to be uninterested in protecting the property of blacks, "It really appears" that they have been "giving aid and comfort to a certain element of violators of the law."  The police belatedly detailed a squad to protect the family, but the very next night the lobbed explosives onto the roof of the Harrison house froma vacant flat next door.  The dweller's skylight was destroyed and more windows shattered.  Someone had unlocked the flat to admit the bombers and had re-locked it afterward, but the police did not question the occupantsof the adjacent building or those leaving it after the explosion. - Journal of Negro History 1970 by William M. Tuttle
Claim: 

Evidence: 
Panicky white focused their wrath on the black race; and blacks, suffering increasingly from the police department's failure to discourage the bombers, viewed the whites with suspicion and made ready to defend their homes and families against further violence. - Journal of Negro History 1970 by William M. Tuttle

Evidence: 

"During the riots the conduct of the police force as a whole was equally open to criticism. Stateâs Attorney Hoyne openly charged the police with arresting colored rioters and with an unwillingness to arrest white rioters. Those who were arrested were at once released. In one case a colored man who was fair enough to appear to be white was arrested for carrying concealed weapons, together with five white men and a number of colored men. All were taken to a police station; the light colored man and the five whites being put into one cell and the other colored men in another. In a few minutes the light colored man and the five whites were released and their ammunition given back to them with the remark, ãYouâll probably need this before the night is over.ä - Walter White considering the reasons for the riot of 1919 (1919)

Black reaction to the race riot

Claim:  After the race riot, black in the north were not willing to stand passively in the face of violent discrimination, and would commit to physical self-defense if necessary 

Evidence:
"For three centuries we have suffered and cowered. No race ever gave Passive Resistance and Submission to Evil longer, more piteous trial. Today we raise the terrible weapon of   Self-Defense. When the murderer comes, he shall not longer strike us in the back. When the armed lynchers gather, we too must gather armed. When the mob moves, we propose to meet it with bricks and clubs and guns.
     But we must tread here with solemn caution. We must never let justifiable self-defense against  individuals become blind and lawless offense against all white folk. We must not seek reform   by violence. We must not seek Vengeance. Vengeance is Mine,ä saith the Lord; or to put it  otherwise, only Infinite Justice and Knowledge can assign blame in this poor world, and we  ourselves are sinful men, struggling desperately with our own crime and ignorance. We must defend ourselves, our homes, our wives and children against the lawless without stint or hesitation: but we must carefully and scrupulously avoid on our own part bitter and  unjustifiable aggression against anybody." - W.E.B. Dubois after the race riot

Evidence: 

"There are friends of the South who, having studied the evolution of the new negro, harbor serious misgivings. No mere fanciful bugaboo is the new negro. He exists. More than once I have met him. He differs radically from the timorous, docile negro of the past. Said a new negro, ãCapân, you mark my words; the next time white folks pick on colored folks, somethingâs going to drop÷dead white folks.ä Within a week came race riots in Chicago, where negroes fought back with surprising audacity." - "The New Negro" : "When He's Hit , He Hits Back." by Rollin Lynde Hart (a white congregational minister) in 1921

Evidence: 

ãBack again, to be lynched, bombed, and riot-frenzied and segregated!ä cries the Chicago Whip. ãThe black man fought to make the world safe for democracy; he now demands that America be made safe for black Americans.ä - 1921
 

Evidence: 

"I once heard Booker Washington say, ãthe negro can afford to be wronged; the white man canât afford to wrong him.ä Patience was the watchword÷then. It is seldom the watchword now. Entirely typical of widespread negro sentiment today is this from the Crisis:

ãFor three centuries we have suffered and cowered. No race ever gave passive resistance and submission to evil longer, more piteous trial. Today we raise the terrible weapon of self-defense. When the murderer comes, he shall no longer strike us in the back. When the armed lynchers gather, we too must gather armed. When the mob moves, we propose to meet it with bricks and clubs and guns. If the United States is to be a land of law, we would live humbly and peaceably in it; if it is to be a land of mobs and lynchers, we might as well die today as tomorrow.ä

So, likewise, the New York Age: ãEvery day we are told to keep quiet. Only a fool will keep quiet when he is being robbed of his birthright. Only a coward will lie down and whine under the lash if he too can give back the lash. America hates, lynches and enslaves us, not because we are black, but because we are weak. A strong, united negro race will not be mistreated. It is always strength over weakness, might over right.ä Meanwhile a colored preacher writer in the Cleveland Gazette: ãdonât start anything, but when something is started make it hot for them and finish it.ä - "The New Negro" : "When He's Hit, He Hits Back"

Claim:  blacks organized to advocate for effective police protection 

Evidence: 
African-Americans in these neighborhoods organized among themselves to advocate
for effective police protection, as the Chicago police had done little to protect against and investigate the bombings. - "Deeds of Mistrust: Race, Housing, and Restrictive
Covenants in Chicago, 1900-1950" by Wendy Plotkin 

Evidence: 

Claim: black resistance during the riot 

Evidence: 
jstor description of two-sided violence

Evidence:

 

Black resistance during the riot

Claim: Blacks reacted violently to cops who refused to protect blacks or pursue white offenders 

Evidence: 
Picture with armed black during riot

Evidence: 
"A snarl of protest went up from the whites and soon a volley of rocks and stones were sent in     his direction. One rock, said to have been thrown by George Stauber of 2904 Cottage Grove  avenue, struck the lad and he toppled into the water.

     Cop Refuses to Interfere.

     Colored men who were present attempted to go to his rescue, but they were kept back by the whites, it is said. Colored men and women, it is alleged, asked Policeman Dan Callahan of the Cottage Grove station to arrest Stauber, but he is said to have refused.
     Then, indignant at the conduct of the policeman, the Negroes set upon Stauber and commenced  to pummel him. The whites came to his rescue and then the battle royal was on. Fists flew and  rocks were hurled. Bathers from the colored Twenty-fifth street beach were attracted to the scene of the battling and aided their comrades in driving the whites into the water.

     Negroes Chase Policeman.

     Then they turned on Policeman Callahan and drove him down Twenty-ninth street. He ran into a drug store at Twenty-ninth street and Cottage Grove avenue and phoned the Cottage Grove avenue police station.
     Two wagon loads of cops rolled to the scene, and in a scuffle that ensued here Policeman John OâBrien and three blacks were shot." - Chicago Tribune report on the race riot
 

Chicago legislation reaction to race riots

Claim: Chicago city council attempted to racially zone the city 

Evidence: 
SEGREGATION TO PREVENT RACE RIOTS IS URGED

COUNCIL IS ASKED TO FIX RESIDENTIAL ZONES AS SOLUTION

-Chicago Tribune August 11, 1919 

 

Riots prior to 1919

Claim:  White violence against black were frequent and "familiar" in the South 

Evidence: 

I had read the inflammatory headlines in the Atlanta News and the more restrained ones in the Atlanta Constitution which reported alleged rapes and other crimes committed by Negroes. But these were so standard and familiar that they made÷as I look back on it now ÷ little impression. The stories were more frequent, however, and consisted of eight-column streamers instead of the usual two or four-column ones. - Walter White recalliing the 1906 Atlanta race riot

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Claim: Blacks usually retreated from whites and protected from their homes 

Evidence: 

"Father told Mother to take my sisters, the youngest of them only six, to the rear of the house, which offered more protection from stones and bullets. My brother George was away, so Father and I, the only males in the house, took our places at the front windows of the parlor. The windows opened on a porch along the front side of the house, which in turn gave onto a narrow lawn that sloped down to the street and a picket fence. There was a crash as Negroes smashed the street lamp at the corner of Houston and Piedmont Avenue down the street. In a very few minutes the vanguard of the mob, some of them bearing torches, appeared. A voice which we recognized as that of the son of the grocer with whom we had traded for many years yelled, ãThatÌs where that nigger mail carrier lives! LetÌs burn it down! ItÌs too nice for a nigger to live in!ä In the eerie light Father turned his drawn face toward me. In a voice as quiet as though he were asking me to pass him the sugar at the breakfast table, he said, ãSon, donÌt shoot until the first man puts his foot on the lawn and then÷donÌt you miss!" -  Walter White recalling the 1906 Atlanta race riot
Evidence:

 

Discrimination in the south

claim: blacks had their right to vote taken away in the south 

evidence: 
grandfather clause in Lousiana 1898
evidence: 
"We did not disfranchise the negroes until 1895. Then we had a constitutional convention   convened which took the matter up calmly, deliberately, and avowedly with the purpose of     disfranchising as many of them as we could under the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments. We adopted the educational qualification as the only means left to us, and the negro is as contented and as prosperous and as well protected in South Carolina to-day as in any State of the Union south of the Potomac. He is not meddling with politics, for he found that the more he meddled with them the worse off he got. As to his ãrightsä÷I will not discuss them now. We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be equal to the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him. I would to God the last one of them was    in Africa and that none of them had ever been brought to our shores. But I will not pursue the  subject further." - Senator Benjamin Tillman, 1900

evidence: 

1902 Constitution of Virginia 

Article II of the 1902 Virginia Constituion was designed to maintain white suffrage while eliminating Afircan-American voters by menas of literacy tests, and property and poll tax requirements.
 
 

claim: lynching, which ocurred mainly in the South, was not discouraged by law enforcement in the South 

evidence: 

Cleveland Advocate

Lynch Law National Disgrace

Volume:  07
Issue Number:  01
Page Number:  01
Date:  05/15/1920
 
 

claim: disfranchisement in south of blacks 

evidence: 
"Realities of Negro Suffrage" 1905
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claim: many southern states had school segregation laws 

evidence: 
Racial Distinctions in Southern Law by Gilbert Stephenson 1906 pp53-54
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Migration reasons

claim:  blacks migrated for political reasons (including social control) 

evidence: 
"R. S. Horton, wife and daughter. Proprietor Hattiesburg Barber Shop 35th st near Rhodes.
     Came to Chicago in January 1917. For 19 years he had been awaiting what he would regard the right time to move. 19 years ago he had occasion to learn something of the North thru a brother who came up and wrote back. His particular interest and grievance was in politics. It was not so much that he couldn't vote there that made him ãmadä but the fact that colored people not only could vote in the North, but in Chicago could elect whom they wished." - from "Chicago Study, Migration Interviews" by Charles Johnson in 1917

evidence: 
"Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, 3550 Rhodes Been in Chicago one year. Came from the hills in
     Southern Mississippi. He was a railroad man, a fireman, for 15 years at a salary of $125.00 per month, and knew that he could not better that by coming North. His railroad life gave him a chance to make some comparisons. Owned 100 acres of land and a house. Had been to points in North on passes issued by road. When he had over seen a difference he could never feel completed satisfied, but when he balanced the comforts of having a home and wages that could not be beat with the uncertain labor conditions of the North, he decided he would wait his    chance. His discontentment had been growing on him for 15 years. These facts forced a decision:
     A few years ago a Negro killed a policeman 3 miles from his home. Mob killed the Negro and destroyed 5,000 worth of Negro property around him. He began to feel the insecurity of living there.
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