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The Red Summer of 1919: A Presentation by Journalist Joseph Hill

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This summer marks the centennial of a period left out of most history books, a period in which 25 American cities were engulfed in race riots. From May through November explosions of violence resulted in the destruction of Black businesses and neighborhoods and the deaths of an uncounted number of African Americans. Estimates vary from several hundred to more than a thousand. The carnage took place in cities from Chicago and Washington D.C. to Southern towns such as Sylvester, Georgia, and Elaine, Arkansas.

Our history books, media, and popular culture pay little attention to this pivotal period not only in African American history, but in the history of our country. These race riots grew out of not only the deep history of racism in the United States, but also such specific developments as the end of World War I, the Great Migration of one and a half million African Americans from the rural South to the cities of the North, tensions around immigration, fears of communism, and a President who refused to take a stand against racism.

Does this sound familiar?

Join veteran journalist Joseph Hill as he shares his research into this history.

During more than thirty years of journalistic work, Mr. Hill has worked in television, radio, newspapers, and magazines. An original staffer for R-News, a Time Warner affiliated, 24 hour local news station in Rochester, New York, he took advantage of the extended news format to produce specials and documentaries. His award-winning documentaries include “Mission of Hope: Rochester in Haiti,” “Remembering Malcolm X in Rochester”, a look at part of the last week in the slain civil rights leader’s life, spent in Rochester, and “Black Border Warriors: The Seminole Negro Indian Scouts.” This recent film premiered at the 2018 Black International Cinema Berlin Film Festival in Germany and was awarded Best Feature Length Documentary. In May it was screened at the Pan African Film Festival in Cannes, France.

A Chicago native, educated at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Mr. Hill now lives in St. Paul, where he enjoys his two adult children and their spouses, while spoiling his four grandchildren.

Free and open to all