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They were for citizens and they weren’t would assert themselves and stand up what’s best for their release , and again it’s reminded me when I was doing the research of things we’re going through now. Obviously , we’ve come through a lot since that time , but some of what goes on for example with black lace matter in asserting blacks asserting their own truth and not letting it be buried . That was also going on back in 1919 and the Chicago defender was a huge part of that .
Yeah , it is fairly interesting. The parallels between today and now as they as we often say the cliche that history repeats itself is kind of an interesting thing to think about when you are looking at this book . We’re gonna take a break when we come back , we’re going to continue this conversation with clear her feels she’s an Chicago race riot of 1919 we’re gonna continue talking to her about the history of black Chicago stay tuned you’re listening to the 21st .most recently of a book , it’s just out , it’s designed for readers 12 it is 12 and up what’s called a few red drops the
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These said turning it into the 21st availability to my guest is clear Hart field. She is a Chicago and she’s a lawyer and she’s an her most recent book is called a few red drops the Chicago race riot of 1919 . If you’re in the Chicago area . She’s actually got an event this evening this Martin Luther King Day at 6:00 PM at the 57th Street bookstore in Hyde Park to talk about this book Claire you know we just before the break . We were talking about the Chicago defender and it really struck me when I was reading the book about how people communicated even though we’re talking about a century ago , with so interesting to see how communication was such an important part of movements in people in how people . It struck me I couldn’t believe that people would actually write letters to the newspaper to the defender saying I’m looking for work in Chicago . Should I leave the south should I come . Is it safe to come .
Absolutely blacks all over the country , looked to the Chicago defender as a trusted source of advice and it before World War One there weren’t very many jobs in Chicago or in other northern cities available to blacks. And so even though blacks were living in very oppressive conditions in the south , and many would write letters to the defender inquiring about whether they should Boone North the defender would discourage them from doing that because it was concerned that massive waves of Vioxx would get here and be unemployed but with World War One , so many men going off to war and leaving the industrial factory lines , MD , the Labour needed any new source of labor and so they looked to blacks in the South to come up and fill those positions . And with that New Labour opportunity available to the Chicago defender changed its advice and said to blacks . Yes . Now is the time to come . And so they did and within the course of the war years which was only a couple of years , the black population in Chicago double .
And that was it. Cheap point because they’re in the eating up a racial tension believe it isn’t that news large black population boom .
Right. Why , I mean .
It is anywhere now Oklahoma what when and where. But that happening but you know you need me . Well , I mean .
And at the time is the EU had this great migration you have thousands of black people coming up from the south of relocating to Illinois mostly to Chicago because as you said the jobs were in Chicago , and I was fascinating to me to read about how the Chicago Urban League big welcoming Association was established to help people get settled how they would have people literally meeting people at the train and handing out a card saying if you need a job if you need a place to stay. This is how we will help you . This is how we will help you acclimate to society in the culture of Chicago . How do you know when you even have in the book a picture of the corridor . How do you find that . How did you how did she do research on that period .
Well , there are some wonderful sources of of original source material in Chicago. There’s the Chicago History Museum , University of Illinois at Chicago is a great library with a lot of old material from that that day and age . But yes , the , the Urban League , the Chicago Urban League got its start right at the time of the great migration . You can imagine , with 50,000 new people tumbling into the city that there could be mass chaos , but the Urban League , was instrumental in organizing what was going on . And so yes , people would get off the trains in the middle of Chicago . However , some of them had relatives or friends who would meet them , but many of them did not , and they didn’t know what what they were doing where they were growing up , most of them were coming from very rural areas they had never seen anything the likes of the city , the size of Chicago with all of its industries and they needed help in the Urban League was fantastic in terms of , as you say hooking them up to jobs and to housing when they could and to also funneling him them into some of the other organizations such as the black churches and while they’re Street YMCA that them get saddled socially .
And they were all coming obviously economics plays such an important role in their sin. When you talk about the numbers of people in Chicago , we would be remiss if I didn’t point out than 10s of thousands of people who were working in the stock yards and you spent quite a bit of time of this in the book to Hakim .