In 1968, Baltimore was home to a variety of ethnic, religious, and racial communities that, like those in other American cities, were confronting a quickly declining industrial base. In April of that year, disturbances broke the urban landscape along lines of race and class.
This book offers chapters on events leading up to the turmoil, the riots, and the aftermath as well as four rigorously edited and annotated oral histories of members of the Baltimore community. The combination of new scholarship and first-person accounts provides a comprehensive case study of this period of civil unrest four decades later.
This engaging, broad-based public history lays bare the diverse experiences of 1968 and their effects, emphasizing the role of specific human actions. By reflecting on the stories and analysis presented in this anthology, readers may feel empowered to pursue informed, responsible civic action of their own.
Baltimore '68 is the book component of a larger public history project, "Baltimore '68 Riots: Riots and Rebirth." The project's companion website (http://archives.ubalt.edu/bsr/index.html ) offers many more oral histories plus photos, art, and links to archival sources. The book and the website together make up an invaluable teaching resource on cities, social unrest, and racial politics in the 1960s. The project was the corecipient of the 2009 Outstanding Public History Project Award from the National Council on Public History.
The 1968 Democratic Convention, best known for police brutality against demonstrators, has been relegated to a dark place in American historical memory. Battleground Chicago ventures beyond the stereotypical image of rioting protestors and violent cops to reevaluate exactly how—and why—the police attacked antiwar activists at the convention.
Working from interviews with eighty former Chicago police officers who were on the scene, Frank Kusch uncovers the other side of the story of ’68, deepening our understanding of a turbulent decade.
“Frank Kusch’s compelling account of the clash between Mayor Richard Daley’s men in blue and anti-war rebels reveals why the 1960s was such a painful era for many Americans. . . . to his great credit, [Kusch] allows ‘the pigs’ to speak up for themselves.”—Michael Kazin
“Kusch’s history of white Chicago policemen and the 1968 Democratic National Convention is a solid addition to a growing literature on the cultural sensibility and political perspective of the conservative white working class in the last third of the twentieth century.”—David Farber, Journal of American History
On September 30, 1919, local law enforcement in rural Phillips County, Arkansas, attacked black sharecroppers at a meeting of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America. The next day, hundreds of white men from the Delta, along with US Army troops, converged on the area “with blood in their eyes.” What happened next was one of the deadliest incidents of racial violence in the history of the United States, leaving a legacy of trauma and silence that has persisted for more than a century. In the wake of the massacre, the NAACP and Little Rock lawyer Scipio Jones spearheaded legal action that revolutionized due process in America.
The first edition of Grif Stockley’s Blood in Their Eyes, published in 2001, brought renewed attention to the Elaine Massacre and sparked valuable new studies on racial violence and exploitation in Arkansas and beyond. With contributions from fellow historians Brian K. Mitchell and Guy Lancaster, this revised edition draws from recently uncovered source material and explores in greater detail the actions of the mob, the lives of those who survived the massacre, and the regime of fear and terror that prevailed under Jim Crow.
No one will soon forget the image, blazed across the airwaves, of armed Korean Americans taking to the rooftops as their businesses went up in flames during the Los Angeles riots. Why Korean Americans? What stoked the wrath the riots unleashed against them? Blue Dreams is the first book to make sense of these questions, to show how Korean Americans, variously depicted as immigrant seekers after the American dream or as racist merchants exploiting African Americans, emerged at the crossroads of conflicting social reflections in the aftermath of the 1992 riots.
The situation of Los Angeles's Korean Americans touches on some of the most vexing issues facing American society today: ethnic conflict, urban poverty, immigration, multiculturalism, and ideological polarization. Combining interviews and deft socio-historical analysis, Blue Dreams gives these problems a human face and at the same time clarifies the historical, political, and economic factors that render them so complex. In the lives and voices of Korean Americans, the authors locate a profound challenge to cherished assumptions about the United States and its minorities.
Why did Koreans come to the United States? Why did they set up shop in poor inner-city neighborhoods? Are they in conflict with African Americans? These are among the many difficult questions the authors answer as they probe the transnational roots and diversity of Los Angeles's Korean Americans. Their work finally shows us in sharp relief and moving detail a community that, despite the blinding media focus brought to bear during the riots, has nonetheless remained largely silent and effectively invisible. An important corrective to the formulaic accounts that have pitted Korean Americans against African Americans, Blue Dreams places the Korean American story squarely at the center of national debates over race, class, culture, and community.
Table of Contents: Preface
The Los Angeles Riots, the Korean American Story Reckoning via the Riots Diaspora Formation: Modernity and Mobility Mapping the Korean Diaspora in Los Angeles Korean American Entrepreneurship American Ideologies on Trial Conclusion
Notes References Index
Reviews of this book: Blue Dreams--a poetic allusion to the clear blue sky that Koreans see as a symbol of freedom--is a welcome exploration by outsiders into the vexing and largely invisible Korean-American predicament in Los Angeles and the nation. [Abelmann and Lie 's] colorful interview subjects offer sharp observations. --K.W. Lee, Los Angeles Times
Reviews of this book: An informed and thoughtful examination of Korean immigration to the United States since 1970...[Abelmann and Lie] show that even in a period as short as twenty-five years, there have been successive waves of differently motivated, differently resourced Korean immigrants, and their experiences and reactions have differed accordingly. --Michael Tonry, Times Literary Supplement
Reviews of this book: [The authors'] transnational perspective is particularly effective for explicating Korean immigrants' behaviors, activities, and feelings...Interesting and readable. --Pyong Gap Min, American Journal of Sociology
Reviews of this book: Beginning with a poetic book title, the authors recount in depth as to how the 'Blue Dreams' of the Korean-American merchants in East Los Angeles had shattered in the midst of [the] 1992 riot that turned out to be 'elusive dreams' in America...The book not only portrays the L.A. riot surrounding the Korean merchants, but also characterizes diaspora of the Koreans in America. The authors have also examined with scholarly insights the more complex socioeconomic and political underplay the Koreans encountered in their 'Promised New Land'. --Eugene C. Kim, International Migration Review
David Farber University of Chicago Press, 1988 Library of Congress F548.52.F37 1988 | Dewey Decimal 977.311043
Entertaining and scrupulously researched, Chicago '68 reconstructs the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago—an epochal moment in American cultural and political history. By drawing on a wide range of sources, Farber tells and retells the story of the protests in three different voices, from the perspectives of the major protagonists—the Yippies, the National Mobilization to End the War, and Mayor Richard J. Daley and his police. He brilliantly recreates all the excitement and drama, the violently charged action and language of this period of crisis, giving life to the whole set of cultural experiences we call "the sixties."
"Chicago '68 was a watershed summer. Chicago '68 is a watershed book. Farber succeeds in presenting a sensitive, fairminded composite portrait that is at once a model of fine narrative history and an example of how one can walk the intellectual tightrope between 'reporting one's findings' and offering judgements about them."—Peter I. Rose, Contemporary Sociology
The first book-length study of the Stamp Act in decades, this timely collection draws together essays from a broad range of disciplines to provide a thoroughly original investigation of the influence of 1760s British tax legislation on colonial culture, and vice versa. While earlier scholarship has largely focused on the political origins and legacy of the Stamp Act, this volume illuminates the social and cultural impact of a legislative crisis that would end in revolution. Importantly, these essays question the traditional nationalist narrative of Stamp Act scholarship, offering a variety of counter identities and perspectives. Community without Consent recovers the stories of individuals often ignored or overlooked in existing scholarship, including women, Native Americans, and enslaved African Americans, by drawing on sources unavailable to or unexamined by earlier researchers. This urgent and original collection will appeal to the broadest of interdisciplinary audiences.
Less than 2 percent of some 4000 adults prosecuted for participating in the bloodiest ghetto revolt of this generation served any time in jail as a result of their conviction and sentencing. Why? Why, in contrast, did the majority of those arrested following a brief and minor confrontation with police in a different city receive far harsher treatment than ordinarily meted out for comparable offenses in "normal" times? What do these incidents tell us about the nature of legal repression in the American state? No coherent theory of political repression in the liberal state exists today. Neither the liberal view of repression as "anomaly" nor the radical view of repression as "fascist core" appears to come to grips with the distinctive characteristics of legal repression in the liberal state. This book attempts to arrive at a more adequate understanding of these "distinctive characteristics" by means of a detailed analysis of the legal response to the most serious violent challenge to the existing political order since the Great Depression—the black ghetto revolts between 1964 and 1968. Using police and court records, and extensive interviews with judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and detention officials, Professor Balbus provides a complete reconstruction of the response of the criminal courts of Los Angeles, Detroit, and Chicago to the "civil disorders" that occurred in these cities. What emerges is a disturbing picture of the relationship between court systems and participants and the local political environments in which they operate.
Freedom's Champion: Elijah Lovejoy
Elijah Lovejoy. Revised by Paul Simon. Foreword by Clarence Page Southern Illinois University Press, 1994 Library of Congress F549.A4L72 1994 | Dewey Decimal 973.5092
In this revised edition of his earlier biography, Paul Simon provides an inspiring account of the life and work of Elijah Lovejoy, an avid abolitionist in the 1830s and the first martyr to freedom of the press in the United States.
Lovejoy was a native New Englander, the son of a Congregational minister. He came to the Midwest in 1827 in pursuit of a teaching career and succeeded in running his own school for two years in St. Louis. Teaching failed to challenge Lovejoy, however, so he bought a half interest in the St. Louis Times and became its editor. In 1832, after experiencing a religious conversion, he returned east to study for the ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary. After his graduation, Lovejoy was called back to St. Louis by a group of Christian businessmen to serve as the editor of a new religious newspaper, the Observer, promoting religion, morality, and education. It was through this forum that Lovejoy took an ever stronger stance against slavery.
In the slave state of Missouri, such a view was not onlyunpopular, but in the eyes of many, criminal. As a result, Lovejoy and his family suffered repeated persecution and acts of violence from angry mobs. In July 1836, in hopes of finding a more tolerant community in a "free" state, he moved both his printing press and his family across the Mississippi River to Alton, Illinois.
The move to Alton was a fateful one. Lovejoy’s press was dismantled and thrown into the river by a mob on the night of its arrival. Lovejoy ordered a new printing press, and it, too, was destroyed eleven months later. A determined and dedicated man, Lovejoy ordered a third press, and city officials took special precautions to ensure its safety after delivery. Nevertheless, an organized and angry mob rolled this third press, still in its crate, into the river exactly one month after Lovejoy’s second press had been destroyed. A fourth press, housed in a large stone warehouse and guarded by Lovejoy and his supporters, met the same fate but only after a drunken mob had killed Lovejoy himself. He was buried two days later, 9 November 1837, on his thirty-fifth birthday. No one was ever convicted of his murder.
Rather than suppressing the abolitionist movement, Lovejoy’s death caused an eruption of antislavery activity throughout the nation. At a protest meeting in Ohio, John Brown dedicated his life to fighting slavery, and Wendell Phillips emerged from a Lovejoy protest meeting in Boston to become a leader in the antislavery fight.
Simon defines Lovejoy’s fight as a struggle for human dignity and the oppressed. He distinguishes Lovejoy as a courageous and admirable individual and his story as an important and enduring one for both the cause of freedom for the slaves and the cause of freedom of the press.
From Rebellion to Riots is a critical analysis of the roots of contemporary violence in one of Indonesia’s most ethnically heterogeneous provinces, West Kalimantan. Since the late 1960s, this province has suffered periodic outbreaks of ethnic violence among its Dayak, Malay, Madurese, and ethnic Chinese populations. Citing evidence from his research, internal military documents, and ethnographic accounts, Jamie S. Davidson refutes popular explanations for these flare-ups. The recurrent violence has less to do with a clash of cultures, the ills of New Order-led development, or indigenous marginalization than with the ongoing politicization of ethnic and indigenous identity in the region.
Looking at key historical moments, markedly different in their particulars, Davidson reveals the important links between ethnic violence and subnational politics. In one case, army officers in Soeharto’s recently established New Order regime encouraged anti-Chinese sentiments. To move against communist-inspired rebellion, they recruited indigenous Dayaks to expunge tens of thousands of ethnic Chinese from interior towns and villages. This counter-insurgent bloodshed inadvertently initiated a series of clashes between Dayaks and Madurese, another migrant community. Driven by an indigenous empowerment movement and efforts by local elites to control benefits provided by decentralization and democratization, these low-intensity riots rose to immense proportions in the late 1990s. From Rebellion to Riots demonstrates that the endemic violence in this vast region is not the inevitable outcome of its ethnic diversity, and reveals that the initial impetus for collective bloodshed is not necessarily the same as the forces that sustain it.
“A comprehensive case study . . . . Essential reading for students of the West Kalimantan violence.”—Dave McRae, Indonesia
In the summer of 1967, in response to violent demonstrations that rocked 164 U.S. cities, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, a.k.a. the Kerner Commission, was formed. The Commission sought reasons for the disturbances, including the role that law enforcement played. Chief among its research projects was a study of 23 American cities, headed by social psychologist Robert Shellow. An early draft of the scientists’ analysis, titled “The Harvest of American Racism: The Political Meaning of Violence in the Summer of 1967,” provoked the Commission’s staff in November 1967 by uncovering political causes for the unrest; the team of researchers was fired, and the controversial report remained buried at the LBJ Presidential Library until now.
The first publication of the Harvest report half a century later reveals that many of the issues it describes are still with us, including how cities might more effectively and humanely react to groups and communities in protest. In addition to the complete text of the suppressed Harvest report, the book includes an introduction by Robert Shellow that provides useful historical context; personal recollections from four of the report’s surviving social scientists, Robert Shellow, David Boesel, Gary T. Marx, and David O. Sears; and an appendix outlining the differences between the unpublished Harvest analysis and the well-known Kerner Commission Report that followed it.
“The [Harvest of American Racism] report was rejected by Johnson administration functionaries as being far too radical—politically ‘unviable’… Social science can play an extremely positive role in fighting racial and other injustice and inequality, but only if it is matched with a powerful political will to implement the findings. That will has never come from within an American presidential administration—that will has only been forged in black and other radical communities’ movements for justice. The political power for change, as incremental as it has been, has come from within those communities. Washington responds, it does not lead."
—from the Foreword by Michael C. Dawson
Love After the Riots
Juan Felipe Herrera Northwestern University Press, 1996 Library of Congress PS3558.E74L68 1996 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
A "fin-de-siecle epic", Juan Felipe Herrera's After the Riots chronicles a ten-and-a-half hour love affair through the streets of Los Angeles, revealing a world marred by chaos and redeemed by beauty. These are wild poems that force us to consider the nature of our modern-day lives, the world around us, and the prospect of love in the shadow of hopelessness.
May '68 and Its Afterlives
Kristin Ross University of Chicago Press, 2002 Library of Congress DC412.R67 2002 | Dewey Decimal 944.36
During May 1968, students and workers in France united in the biggest strike and the largest mass movement in French history. Protesting capitalism, American imperialism, and Gaullism, 9 million people from all walks of life, from shipbuilders to department store clerks, stopped working. The nation was paralyzed—no sector of the workplace was untouched. Yet, just thirty years later, the mainstream image of May '68 in France has become that of a mellow youth revolt, a cultural transformation stripped of its violence and profound sociopolitical implications.
Kristin Ross shows how the current official memory of May '68 came to serve a political agenda antithetical to the movement's aspirations. She examines the roles played by sociologists, repentant ex-student leaders, and the mainstream media in giving what was a political event a predominantly cultural and ethical meaning. Recovering the political language of May '68 through the tracts, pamphlets, and documentary film footage of the era, Ross reveals how the original movement, concerned above all with the question of equality, gained a new and counterfeit history, one that erased police violence and the deaths of participants, removed workers from the picture, and eliminated all traces of anti-Americanism, anti-imperialism, and the influences of Algeria and Vietnam. May '68 and Its Afterlives is especially timely given the rise of a new mass political movement opposing global capitalism, from labor strikes and anti-McDonald's protests in France to the demonstrations against the World Trade Organization in Seattle.
In Men, Mobs, and Law, Rebecca N. Hill compares two seemingly unrelated types of leftist protest campaigns: those intended to defend labor organizers from prosecution and those seeking to memorialize lynching victims and stop the practice of lynching. Arguing that these forms of protest are related and have substantially influenced one another, Hill points out that both worked to build alliances through appeals to public opinion in the media, by defining the American state as a force of terror, and by creating a heroic identity for their movements. Each has played a major role in the history of radical politics in the United States. Hill illuminates that history by considering the narratives produced during the abolitionist John Brown’s trials and execution, analyzing the defense of the Chicago anarchists of the Haymarket affair, and comparing Ida B. Wells’s and the NAACP’s anti-lynching campaigns to the Industrial Workers of the World’s early-twentieth-century defense campaigns. She also considers conflicts within the campaign to defend Sacco and Vanzetti, chronicles the history of the Communist Party’s International Labor Defense, and explores the Black Panther Party’s defense of George Jackson.
As Hill explains, labor defense activists first drew on populist logic, opposing the masses to the state in their campaigns, while anti-lynching activists went in the opposite direction, castigating “the mob” and appealing to the law. Showing that this difference stems from the different positions of whites and Blacks in the American legal system, Hill’s comparison of anti-lynching organizing and radical labor defenses reveals the conflicts and intersections between antiracist struggle and socialism in the United States.
While other writers contemplated the events of the 1968 Chicago riots from the safety of their hotel rooms, John Schultz was in the city streets, being threatened by police, choking on tear gas, and listening to all the rage, fear, and confusion around him. The result, No One Was Killed, is his account of the contradictions and chaos of convention week, the adrenalin, the sense of drama and history, and how the mainstream press was getting it all wrong.
"A more valuable factual record of events than the city’s white paper, the Walker Report, and Theodore B. White’s Making of a President combined."—Book Week
"As a reporter making distinctions between Yippie, hippie, New Leftist, McCarthyite, police, and National Guard, Schultz is perceptive; he excels in describing such diverse personalities as Julian Bond and Eugene McCarthy."—Library Journal
"High on my short list of true, lasting, inspired evocations of those whacked-out days when the country was fighting a phantasmagorical war (with real corpses), and police under orders were beating up demonstrators who looked at them funny."—Todd Gitlin, from the foreword
. . a well-researched and thoughtful inquiry into the circumstances and
social forces producing one of the most violent of twentieth-century American
-- American Historical Review
"His work fills a serious
gap in the history of racial violence in the United States. Never before
analyzed by sociologists in the way that the Chicago and Detroit riots
were, the East St. Louis riot outranked both as measured by the number
-- American Journal of Sociology
"The origins of the Chicago race riot of 1919 are to be found, not in high-level policy, but in gut-level animosities between black and white people who were generally inarticulate and presentist-oriented, and who did not record their motivations or feelings for posterity. . . To explain the Chicago riot, this evidence has to be found; and though such evidence is not abundant by any means, it does exist."--From the preface
The Soweto Uprising
Noor Nieftagodien Ohio University Press, 2015 Library of Congress DT1959.N44 2014b | Dewey Decimal 968.0627
The Soweto uprising was a true turning point in South Africa’s history. Even to contemporaries, it seemed to mark the beginning of the end of apartheid. This compelling book examines both the underlying causes and the immediate factors that led to this watershed event. It looks at the crucial roles of Black Consciousness ideology and nascent school-based organizations in shaping the character and form of the revolt. What began as a peaceful and coordinated demonstration rapidly turned into a violent protest when police opened fire on students. This short history explains the uprising and its aftermath from the perspective of its main participants, the youth, by drawing on a rich body of oral histories.
A nation's collective memory does not simply exist. It is created. But what factors influence its form and content? And what roles do the news media play in fashioning our collective memory? Here Jill A. Edy observes the process of negotiating a meaning for the past as it unfolds in the news, exploring the ways that news practices, the relationships between actors who make the news, the expectations of news audiences, and the impact of current events affect the development of collective memories in a mass society.Using the 1965 Watts riots and the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as case studies, Edy creates a useful framework for understanding how, over time, conflicting versions of events are resolved, what forms the resolutions take, and how those resolutions influence the representation of current news stories. Anyone who is interested in political communication and the role of media in public culture will find a wealth of insights in this valuable new book.
On July 23, 1967, the Detroit police raided a blind pig (after-hours drinking establishment), touching off the most destructive urban riot of the 1960s. It took the U.S. Army, the Michigan National Guard, the Michigan State Police, and the Detroit police department—17,000 men—more than a week to restore order. When all was done, the riot had claimed 43 lives (mostly Black) and resulted in nearly 700 injuries. Over 7,000 individuals were arrested, with property damage estimates over $75 million. Yet, Detroit had been lauded nationally as a "model city" in the governance of a large industrial metropolis. On the 40th anniversary of this nation-changing event, we are pleased to reissue Sidney Fine's seminal work—a detailed study of what happened, why, and with what consequences.
In a bold work that cuts across racial, ethnic, cultural, and national boundaries, Sheila Smith McKoy reveals how race colors the idea of violence in the United States and in South Africa—two countries inevitably and inextricably linked by the central role of skin color in personal and national identity.
Although race riots are usually seen as black events in both the United States and South Africa, they have played a significant role in shaping the concept of whiteness and white power in both nations. This emerges clearly from Smith McKoy's examination of four riots that demonstrate the relationship between the two nations and the apartheid practices that have historically defined them: North Carolina's Wilmington Race Riot of 1898; the Soweto Uprising of 1976; the Los Angeles Rebellion in 1992; and the pre-election riot in Mmabatho, Bhoputhatswana in 1994. Pursuing these events through narratives, media reports, and film, Smith McKoy shows how white racial violence has been disguised by race riots in the political and power structures of both the United States and South Africa.
The first transnational study to probe the abiding inclination to "blacken" riots, When Whites Riot unravels the connection between racial violence—both the white and the "raced"—in the United States and South Africa, as well as the social dynamics that this connection sustains.