Deeply moving and solidly researched, the vivid poetic retelling of a traumatic event in the histories of migration and racial disintegration
In 1919, award-winning poet Eve L. Ewing recovers the essentially human stories at the heart of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919: of the people who took part in it, and of the lives that were marked by it.
This most intense of the riots of the USA's 'Red Summer' lasted eight days, resulting in thirty-eight deaths and almost 500 injuries; it was a signal and traumatic event which has now shaped the history of the city where it took place for a century. As well as telling the tale of the riot itself and the cruel murder which precipitated it, the poems of 1919 explore its aftermath and bring to vivid life the mass migrations which had set the stage for this violence in the preceding years.
Poetically recounting the stories of everyday people trying to survive and thrive in the city, and using speculative and Afrofuturist lenses to reimagine history, the result is a book which unearths the universal at the heart of the particular, and illuminates the fine line between past and present.