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    Reflections on 1919 with Eve L. Ewing

    A hot summer day set Chicago ablaze in 1919. Seventeen-year-old Eugene Williams crossed an invisible line in Lake Michigan that divided the segregated shores, and he was killed by a group of white beachgoers. His death sparked a deadly 13-day riot. The fighting spread throughout the city, then th...

    A hot summer day set Chicago ablaze in 1919. Seventeen-year-old Eugene Williams crossed an invisible line in Lake Michigan that divided the segregated shores, and he was killed by a group of white beachgoers. His death sparked a deadly 13-day riot. The fighting spread throughout the city, then throughout the country in what became known as the Red Summer. In Chicago, 38 people died, more than 500 were injured, and thousands were left homeless.

     

    The ignition of the Red Summer proved that racism and prejudice had always existed in the north; it was just quieter here. And it’s a pervasive silence that’s lingered over a century – the scars of the Red Summer are still present, open and bleeding in the underlying systems of inequity today.

     

    Dr. Eve L. Ewing, Chicago-based sociologist and poet, explored the Red Summer and expanded on its lasting impact in her second collection of poems, titled 1919. The book was recently adapted for the stage by J. Nicole Brooks and will make its world premiere at the Steppenwolf Theater this October.

     

    Join WBEZ’s Sasha-Ann Simons for a reflective conversation about Chicago’s Red Summer with Dr. Ewing on October 12th at 7pm at the Logan Center.

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    12th Oct, 2022
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