This #thread is for those of you struggling to comprehend that the recent murders are just a fraction of racial violence in the United States. We are protesting for #GeorgeFloyd #BreonnaTaylor, #AhmaudArbery AND hundreds of years of oppression.
Let’s begin your history lesson.
The Cincinnati Riots, 1829
Due to a rapid increase of Black migrants to the city, mobs of 200-300 white rioters attacked Black neighborhoods hoping to push them out of the city.
The Anti-Abolition Riots, NYC, 1834
Week long riot, put down by military force. Resentment of Black Americans caused rioters to control whole sections of the city while they attacked the homes, businesses, and churches of abolitionist leaders & ransacked black neighborhoods.
The Pennsylvania Hall Fire, 1838
Furious that the hall was being used for abolitionist meetings and speeches given by Black people and women, a mob destroyed the hall.
Christiana Riot, 1851
Four “fugitive” enslaved persons hid in Christiana, PA. A Maryland mob intent on recapturing them were met by defenders and a fight ensued. The slaveowner died in this fight and the incident polarized the national slavery debate.
NYC Draft Riots, 1863
The white working class was upset b/c of the Civil War draft and resented free Black people who were employed in Lower Manhattan. White rioters attacked Black people throughout the city. The death toll was 119+ people.
The Memphis massacre of 1866 was a series of violent events that occurred from May 1 to 3, 1866 in Memphis, Tennessee. A shooting “altercation” happened between police and Black Civil War veterans. Mobs of white residents and policemen rampaged through Black neighborhoods.
Destroyed the houses of freedmen, attacking, raping, & killing Black soldiers and civilians.
-46 Black ppl
-2 whites killed
-75 Black ppl injured
-100 Black ppl robbed
-5 black women raped
-91 homes, 4 churches, 8 schools (every black church and school) burned
New Orleans Massacre, 1866
Unarmed protesters (Black veterans) arrived to rally for voting rights. They were met by a group of armed whites who opposed abolition. The marchers were stabbed, kicked, clubbed, and shot. 50 people were killed.
Opelousas Massacre, 1868
“The deadliest massacre in reconstruction-era Louisiana happened 150 years ago.” (Smithsonian) A white school teacher/journalist on the side of Black liberation was beaten. Black ppl were accused of plotting revenge and 250 people were killed.
Meridian, Mississippi, 1871
Black men were accused of inciting a riot, starting a fire, and organizing. During the trial, the judge was shot in the courtroom and a gunfight erupted. 30 Black people were murdered over the following days.
Clinton, Mississippi Massacre, 1875
Hamburg Massacre, South Carolina 1876
White supremacists wanted to regain control of state governments and eradicate the civil rights of Black Americans. 100 white men attacked Black people. 94 white men were indicted for murder by a coroner’s jury, none were prosecuted.
Carroll County Courthouse Massacre, Mississippi, 1886
Ed and Charley Brown, who were part Native American and Black, spilled molasses they were delivering. They were accused of intentionally spilling the molasses. An argument ended in all men wounded…during the trial…
…50 armed white men stormed the courtroom and opened fire on the Brown brothers and the other Black ppl in attendance. Both brothers were killed along w/ 21+ other Black ppl. All victims of the massacre were Black; no whites were injured.
Thibodaux Massacre, Louisiana 1887
Cane cutters, while “free,” weren’t allowed to own land, rent, and their families lived in old slave cabins. Instead of cash, workers got scrip that bought basics at plantation stores. Workers banded together in several sugar parishes…
They demanded cash wages of $1.25 per day, or $1.00 if meals were included. Growers refused. The workers went on strike and marched. 3 weeks. 10,000 workers. State militia intervened and 300+ Black people were killed, wounded or missing, including elders, women, and children.
New Orleans Dockworkers’ Riot, 1894
Non-union Black dockworkers were attacked by white dockworkers, accused of agreeing to lower wages. The riot left six Black laborers dead and many other wounded.
Virden, Illinois Race Riot, 1898
Birmingham miners arrive to Virden, to help during a strike. Greeted by 300 armed white miners. 7 striking miners and 5 guards were killed, with as many as thirty individuals wounded, including a Black Birmingham miner.
Wilmington Race Riot, NC, 1898
After an editorial in a Black newspaper, A white mob of 400-500 ppl marched into the newspaper office, smashed the press, and burned down the building. The rioters delayed a Black fire company long enough to ensure destruction of the property.
Rioters continued to shoot into Black areas. Reports of the death toll are conflicting, ranging from 25-250.
(Who gets to write history?)
Newburg, NY, 1899
Black workers were hired to fill labor shortages in brick yards. Several strikes broke out at multiple brickyards as non-Black workers protested the hiring of more Black ppl. Racial tensions and fights broke out. 2 Black men were injured.
This is the NYTimes:
Robert Charles Riot, New Orleans, 1900
Black laborer Robert Charles fatally shot a white police officer. Manhunt for him ensued, and a white mob started rioting, attacking Black ppl throughout the city. 4 days later, Charles was shot by a “special police volunteer.”
Mob shot him hundreds more times, and beat the body. White rioting continued, with several blacks killed after Charles had died. A total of 28 people were killed in the riots, including Charles. 50 people were wounded in the riots, including 11 hospitalized. Mostly Black ppl.
There was another New York Race Riot in 1900. There are far too many, in New York, for me to cover. Rebecca Solnit’s Nonstop Metropolis has a map with every riot that ever happened, here.
Springfield, Illinois, 1908
Two Black men were accused of rape and murder. When a sheriff moved them out of the city for trial, a mob of 5,000 murdered Black citizens on the streets. 16 people died. 1 Black suspect was convicted and sentenced to death and the other was let go.
East St. Louis, Illinois, 1917
Rumor was: Black men were speaking to white women during a labor meeting. Thousands of white men marched into downtown East St. Louis and began attacking Black ppl and burning buildings. 6,000 Black ppl were left homeless. Deaths in the hundreds.
A Black woman moved into a white area, in South Philly. White crowd gathered and threw rocks at her window. She fired a warning shot in the air and injured someone. Riot ensued. 4 deaths. 60 Black ppl were arrested, compared to only three white ppl.
Eugene Williams, a Black child, drifted into a “white swimming area” at an informally segregated beach. Black neighbors near white areas were attacked, white gangs went in2 Black neighborhoods, and black workers seeking to get to and from employment were attacked.
-38 people died (23 Blaxk and 15 white)
-537 were injured, 2/3 Black
-1,000 Black residents were left homeless
-Many Black families had left by train before the rioting ended, returning to the South.
Knoxville, Tennessee, 1919
A lynch mob stormed the county jail in search of Maurice Mays, a biracial man who had been accused of murdering a white woman. When they couldn’t find him, they destroyed and shot up the Black neighborhood.
Elaine Massacre, Arkansas, 1919
Black sharecroppers wanted better wages. During a labor gathering in a church, “a group of local white men, some of whom may have been affiliated with local law enforcement, fired shots into the church.” Rumors of an “insurrection” started…
“Governor Charles Brough called for 500 soldiers from nearby Camp Pike to, as the Arkansas Democrat reported on Oct 2, “round up” the “heavily armed negroes.” (Smithsonian) 200+ Black men, women, and children were killed. 5 white ppl were killed.
Tulsa, OK, 1921
Black Wall Street was a prosperous Black area in Tulsa. A Black teen was accused of assaulting an elevator operator. The threat of lynching loomed and 75 Black ppl showed up to protect the teen, met by 1500 armed white ppl. Shots broke out and Black ppl fled.
Groups of white Tulsans—some deputized and given weapons by the city—committed many acts of violence against Black ppl. 1,256 houses were burned; 215 others were looted but not torched. 2 newspapers, school, library, hospital, churches, hotels, & many other Black-owned businesses
“In 2001, the report of the Race Riot Commission concluded that between 100 and 300 people were killed and more than 8,000 people made homeless over those 18 hours in 1921.”
(Those #s are thought to be much higher.)
HBO’s “Watchmen” starring @ReginaKing + @yahya, takes place in Tulsa, OK and uses the massacre as historical context.
Rosewood Massacre, Florida, 1923
White men lynched a black Rosewood resident b/c of accusations that a WW had been beaten and possibly raped by a Black drifter. 100s of whites combed the countryside for Black ppl and burned almost every structure in Rosewood…
“Survivors from the town hid for several days in nearby swamps until they were evacuated by train and car to larger towns. No arrests were made for what happened in Rosewood.”
John Singleton directed a film about the Rosewood Massacre, in 1997. #RIPJohnSingleton
Harlem, Great Depression, 1935
Rumors that a Black Puerto Rican teenage shoplifter was beaten by employees at a store circulated. A demonstration was held outside the store and, after someone threw a rock through the window, more destruction of the store and others took place.
Destruction and looting began to spread east and west on 125th Street, targeting white-owned businesses. Stores posted signs that read “COLORED STORE” or “COLORED HELP EMPLOYED HERE.” Black people were killed, 125 people were arrested and 100 people were injured.
Detroit, MI, 1943
Black and white youth started fighting, after years of tensions. Issues amplified after a rumor spread that a Black mother and child were thrown in the Detroit River. Black ppl looted/destroyed property as retaliation. White ppl did the same to Black areas.
-34 people killed
-25 Black and most at the hands of the white police force; -433 were wounded, (75% of them Black)
Most of the riot and damage took place in the Black area of Paradise Valley, the poorest neighborhood of the city.
Columbia, Tennessee, 1946
A Black World War II veteran, and his mother, went 2 a local dept. store, to pick up the radio they had taken for repair, not knowing it had been sold to another customer. When they demanded the radio, a store employee confronted her.
The son began fighting the employee and threw him through a window, injuring him. He and his mother were arrested and charged with disturbing the peace. Both pleaded guilty and received a $50 fine. Concerned about mob violence, the Black ppl shot out their streetlights.
Police arrived after hearing the shots and arrived. More shots rang out and police were wounded. Police then went into the Black area and started shooting into buildings and homes. 100 Black ppl were arrested.
Cambridge, Maryland, 1963
Gloria Richardson led the local chapter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The group organized sit-ins, freedom rides, and other peaceful anti-segregation protests. Multiple clashes/attacks happened w/ protestors.
HARLEM HAD ANOTHER RACE RIOT IN 1964.
(Have you noticed history repeating itself, in this thread?)
6-day period of rioting in Harlem after a white off-duty police officer shot and killed a Black teenager.
15 YEAR OLD James Powell, parents pictured below, was hanging out on the upper east side of Manhattan when he noticed other Black teens being hosed down by apartment owner Patrick Lynch. James pursued Patrick Lynch when an off-duty officer, Thomas Gilligan, shot James 3 times.
One week later, in #Rochester, NY….police arrested an accused Black teen for intoxication and harassing women, at a large block party. Party attendees pushed back against the police and started riot.
-250 stores were looted
-5 white people died
Police rounded up and arrested more than 900 people. “Majority were employed black men between 20 and 40 years old with no prior records of violence. Only 15 percent of those arrested were white.”
Jersey City, New Jersey, 1964
Black woman arrested for disorderly conduct. “Arthur Mays, the older brother of future Olympic star and politician Charles Mays, intervened and was himself arrested.” A crowd of protesters marched/rioted complaining about police brutality.
Paterson, New Jersey 1964
Black teens, returning home from a school dance, began throwing rocks at passing police cars. Mayor had previously deputized the police and told them to “shoot to kill” if their lives or the “property of the police” were threatened.
“1964 WAS A SUMMER THAT NO ONE FORGOT.” -My Auntie
300+ officers on the ground, with tear gas and riot gear…it was clear what they were ordered to do…despite the Mayor rescinding his initial statement.
Dixmoor, Illinois, 1964 (Gin Bottle Riot)
Woman accused of shoplifting a bottle of gin was wrestled to the ground and beaten by the owner and arrested. Black ppl took to the streets in anger. They picketed the liquor store, attacked it, looted it and burned nearby buildings.
Marquette Frye, a Black driver on parole for robbery, was pulled over for reckless driving. Frye was assaulted by police. After numerous incidents of police discrimination + this incident, residents rioted. 34 deaths.
Read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s statements on The Watts Riots, here.
Hough, Cleveland, Ohio, 1966
Black woman argues with bar over a donation box and is thrown out. The same business has a sign that says “No Ice/Water for N—rs.” Black people gather to protest the business. Rioting ensued.
4 Black ppl killed
50 ppl injured
Dayton, Ohio, 1966
Lester Mitchell, a thirty-nine-year-old Black man, was shot in the face while sweeping his front porch. Witnesses saw white men in the car that did the drive-by. After years of discrimination, the death of Mitchell sparked rioting and looting across the city.
Hunters Point, San Francisco, 1966
Officer Alvin Johnson shot and killed Matthew ‘Peanut’ Johnson (no relation), a teenager who was fleeing the scene of a stolen car. Suspended w/out pay. A peace meeting was called at the community center. It wasn’t peaceful…
700 people poured into and around the center. Riots started to break out. An officer was hit by a rock and yelled “I’m hit,” causing the police to shoot at the center filled with families for 8 minutes. 7 injured.
Newark, NJ, 1967
Newark riots was one of 159 riots that swept cities in the United States during the “Long Hot Summer of 1967”. (Welp. Guess that’s every summer.)
2 officers beat and arrest a Black cab driver. 4days of rioting, looting, and property destruction, 26 dead.
Flint, MI 1967
Police raided a club in resulting in 43 riot deaths, 1,189 injured, more than 7,200 arrests and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. The riots flowed to Flint, Michigan & the Black neighborhood suffered damages.
PS—FLINT STILL DOES NOT HAVE CLEAN WATER.
Here’s the leading expert on Flint.
Tuscon, Arizona 1967
A Black 14 y.o. is arrested. 200 young Black people gather to protest. 2 arrests were made. Both teens.
Grand Rapids, MI, 1967
The riot began July 25, 1967 when the community thought youth were harmed. “No one was killed. Police reported 44 injuries and 350 arrests. Rioters looted, torched businesses and abandoned houses, and threw rocks at police and firefighters.” (MLive)
King Assassination Riots, Holy Week Uprising, Everywhere, 1968
Greatest wave of social unrest the United States had experienced since the Civil War, after the assassination of Dr. MLK Jr.
Hartford, CT, 1969
Hartford barely recovered from the King riots via the Black community, when the Puerto Rican community stood up to police discrimination in 1969.
Asbury Park, NJ, 1970
Residents protested rat infested housing, police/employment discrimination and more.
Camden, New Jersey 1971
Riot following the death of a Puerto Rican driver at the hands of white police officers. Latinx residents took to the streets. 15 major fires were set before order was restored. 90 injured. Officers acquitted by a jury.
Miami, FL, 1980
Arthur McDuffie, a black salesman and former Marine, died from injuries sustained at the hands of 4 officers trying to arrest him after a high-speed chase.
Officers were tried and acquitted for manslaughter and evidence tampering, among other charges.
Riot broke out in the black neighborhoods of Overtown and Liberty City in Miami. In 1981 Dade County paid McDuffie’s family a settlement of $1.1 million after they filed a civil lawsuit against the officials. 18 deaths. 350 injuries. 600 arrests.
Crown Heights, Brooklyn, 1991
Racial tensions between the Black and Jewish community of Crown Heights resulted in riots and deaths on both sides. Jewish men and a Guyanese child died.
Rodney King Riots, Los Angeles, 1992
“Unrest began in LA after a trial jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for usage of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King, which had been videotaped and widely viewed in TV broadcasts.”
The same month as Rodney King’s beating, a Korean store owner in LA shot and killed a 15-year-old Black girl (Latasha Harlins,) accused of stealing orange juice. “Harlins was clutching money to pay for the juice when she was killed. The owner received probation and a $500 fine. “
West Las Vegas, 1992
Day after the not guilty verdict, for Rodney King’s abusers…protesters in LV peacefully marched from the Blk community on the Westside to downtown. Before they made it there officers ordered them to turn around.
St. Petersburg, Florida, 1996
Black unarmed teenage driver was murdered during a traffic stop. Shot 3 times. Protests began. Riots ensued.
Rest In Peace, Tyron Lewis.
University of Georgia, 1961
After desegregation, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter, entered campus to register for classes. They were met by mobs yelling racial slurs. They slept in dorms while rioters yelled and threw rocks at their windows. The Dean of Students decided…
…to suspend the students for their safety. ?
400 faculty members petitioned for their return. Students returned.
(Charlayne and reporter, below.)
The Desegregation of Ole Miss Riot, 1962
Segregationists rioted after the enrollment of James Meredith, a Black veteran, at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).
3 ppl killed.
1/3 of enforcement personnel injured.
Houston, Texas Southern University, 1967
This incident was labeled as a riot, but many don’t agree. Racial tensions existed due to frequent discrimination. The city used ponds located in the Black neighborhood as dumps and an 11-year old drown in a garbage-filled pond.
Students & environmental activists staged a sit-in at a city dump. Many arrests were made. TSU students were mandated to stay on campus. Police shot at dorms when students threw rocks. Students returned with isolated gunfire. Police shot 5,000 rounds of ammunition into the dorms.
Police arrested 488 students. “A small number of those arrested were injured.” An Officer was killed during the exchange and 5 political activists, students at TSU, were arrested for the crime. Cleared of charges.
Orangeburg Massacre, South Carolina, 1968
A civil rights protest (pushing back at a whites-only bowling alley) at SC State turned deadly after police shot at 200 unarmed Black student (also Claflin Univ.) protestors.
3 young men killed.
Jackson State, Mississippi, 1970
100 students gathered in an area known for frequent Black/white confrontations. Students started a riot. Officers shit dorms after midnight. 460 shots in 30 seconds. Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, 21, a jr., and James Green, 17, a sr. were killed.
Cincinnati Riots, 2001
Riots sparked after 19-year-old Timothy Thomas, an unarmed Black man, was shot and killed by Cincinnati Officer Stephen Roach during an attempt to arrest him for non-violent misdemeanors. Peaceful march to victim’s home. Police arrived.
Police used tear gas, bean bags and rubber bullets. Businesses were damaged and looted. 60+ arrests were made.
Oscar Grant Protests, Oakland, CA, 2009+
Oscar Grant III, 22-year-old Black man, was murdered in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009 Police Officer Johannes Mehserle. Both peaceful and violent protests and riots followed.
Director Ryan Coogler + actor @michaelb4jordan depict Oscar Grant’s last day in the movie Fruitvale Station.
Trayvon Martin Protests, 2013
Protests held in 100+ US cities after the murder of Trayvon Martin. Cities geared up for a fight but instead had peaceful protests.
“There was anger in the crowd, but the sentiment that predominated—as it has in the immediate aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict—was simply sadness.” (The New Yorker)
Ferguson, Missouri, 2014+
Riots began after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson + MB’s body lay in the street for FOUR HOURS. Police established curfews and deployed riot squads to maintain order before protests began.
Protests continued when Darren Wilson was not indicted, and it was concluded that he acted in ” self-defense.” Brown was unarmed.
Baltimore, Maryland, 2015
Officers arrested Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man. Gray sustained injuries to his neck and spine while in transport in a police vehicle. Gray died the following day.
Protests and riots began.
2 people shot.
1 fire victim.
.@byDVNLLN, Baltimore native, and incredible artist captured the following days’ narratives.
SUPPORT HIM. BUY HIS WORK. CREDIT HIM.
Charleston, South Carolina, 2015
Nine people: Tywanza Sanders, Susie Jackson, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton Doctor, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman Singleton, Myra Thompson, and Clementa C. Pinckney.
Were murdered by a white supremacist….
…while attending prayer service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME). The murderer fled and was eventually captured, but not before a stop for fast food w/ the police. BLM protests and calls for the removal of Confederate monuments across the US…
…took place, and protestors were met by police during peaceful unity marches.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2016
A 23-year-old Black man, Sylville K. Smith, was shot and killed by a 24-year-old Black police officer. Hundreds gathered to protest.
4 officers were injured.
Charlotte, North Carolina 2016
An officer, shot and killed a 43-year-old Black man named Keith Lamont Scott. They thought he had a gun. It was a book. Demonstrators arrived and a riot ensued.
One protestor killed.
Rest in Peace, Kieth Lamont Scott.
The officer in this case was found not guilty. BLM protests ensued, but ALL protests were peaceful.
Started this at 8:45 pm, yesterday. 5 hours of sleep & finished at almost 2 pm today. I missed several riots/protests & didn’t even touch on the revolts of enslaved people.
History repeats itself.
Until we learn & accept that history and decide to be on the side of justice…
WE WILL CONTINUE TO REPEAT IT.
Many of the deaths recorded in these incidents were inaccurate. Govt, “historians”, “journalists”, “urban planners”, and architects published low numbers and hid mass grave sites, burned down structures, and destroyed Black archives.
Mass Graves are still being discovered in Tulsa (Black Wall Street).
Black cemeteries with shopping malls built over them. (Baltimore)
A Black cemetery destroyed for Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway.
“As a result, the contractors removing the remains had no idea where to look for them and bodies were often caught by the steam shovel and “carried off to the dump before anything can be done.”
120 Graves From LOST Cemetery Found Beneath (Black) Housing Complex (Tampa, Florida)
I could go on for days.
I can’t stop thinking about these coverups. They jumped to the forefront of my thoughts when they tried to blame #GeorgeFloyd for his own death.
How many more incidents aren’t filmed, recorded, or are hidden in plain sight?
Here are reads, to extend your learning:
Books about #NewYork’s history:
If you need fiction as a catalyst…