Saturday, September 13, 2008

Carl Sandburg on the Riots of 1919

Some of Carl Sandburg’s reports on racial tensions, originally written for publication in the Chicago Daily News, were collected in The Chicago Race Riots, July 1919 (1919). The riots started July 27 at the 29th Street beach and lasted through August 3. Eugene Williams was the first youth killed. Before it was over, twenty-three African Americans and 15 whites were dead, and another 537 people were wounded (342 black, 195 white). Sandburg provides an account of the escalation of violence that led to the rioting, and he also describes the inadequate housing situation of African Americans. The book begins (page 1):

"The so-called race riots in Chicago during the last week of July 1919, started on a Sunday at a bathing beach. A colored boy swam across an imaginary segregation line. White boys threw rocks at him and knocked him off a raft . He was drowned. Colored people rushed to a policeman and asked for the arrest of the boys throwing stones. The policeman refused. As the dead body of the drowned boy was being handled, more rocks were thrown, on both sides. The policeman held on to his refusal to make arrests. Fighting then began that spread to all the borders of the Black Belt. The score at the end of three days was recorded as twenty negroes dead, fourteen white men dead, and a number of negro houses burned. 
The riots furnished an excuse for every element of Gangland to go to it and test their prowess by the most ancient ordeals of the jungle. There was one section of the city that supplied more white hoodlums than any other section. It was the district around the stockyards and packing houses."

Learn more about the 1919 Riots:

"The Chicago Race Riot of 1919" from Jazz Age Chicago.
"Carl Sandburg, The Chicago Race Riots, 1919" from the Encyclopedia of Chicago.
"Race Riots" from the Encyclopedia of Chicago.
"Gangs and the 1919 Chicago Race Riot" from University of Illinois Chicago.
"1919: The Race Riot" from Northwestern University's Homicide Chicago 1870-1930.

Jeffrey S. Adler, "'Halting the Slaughter of the Innocents,': the Civilizing Process and the Surge in violence in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago," in Social Science History 25.1 (2001) p.29-52.

Poetry from Chicago

A little corner to encourage you to read and listen to poetry from Chicago.

Hear Gwendolyn Brooks read "the mother" from A Street in Bronzeville (1945) and other poetry (Poetry Foundation's Essential American Poets selected by Donald Hall, in a recording made at the Library of Congress, January 19, 1961).


Chicago Architecture



2003. Skybridge, 1 N. Halstead Street, 39 stories.

1980. Xerox Center, 55 W. Monroe Street, 41 stories.

1975. Metropolitan Correctional Center, 71 W. Van Buren Street, 27 stories.

1973. Sears Tower, 223 S. Wacker Drive, 110 stories with a skydeck.

1972. Aon Center (Standard Oil Building), 200 E. Randolph Street.
CNA Plaza, 44 stories, 325 S. Wabash Avenue.

1970. John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan Avenue, 100 stories.

1969. Chase Tower (First National Bank Building, then Bank One Plaza), 10 S. Dearborn Street, 60 stories.

1968. Lake Point Tower, 505 N. Lake Shore Drive, 70 stories.

1964. Marina City, 300 N. State Street, 61 stories.

1925. Tribune Tower, 435 N. Michigan Avenue, 36 stories.

1910. Robie House, 5757 S. Woodlawn Avenue.

1892. Masonic Temple, demolished in 1939.

1889. Monadnock Building, 53 W. Jackson Boulevard, 17 stories.

1888. The Rookery, 209 S. LaSalle Street.

1885. Home Insurance Building, 10 stories.

You can get more detailed information about these buildings and others through several websites devoted to Chicago's architecture:

—Chicago architectural Landmarks, by name of architect, on the City of Chicago web pages.
—a Global Architecture Encyclopedia,  http://www.glasssteelandstone.com.

Chicago goes to the Movies



2008. Chicago 10 by Brett Morgen. See trailer.

2007. And They Came to Chicago: The Italian American Legacy by Gia Marie Amelia. See clips from the website.

2006. Running Scared by Wayne Kramer. See trailer.
2003. Chicago, City of the Century by Austin Hoyt for PBS.

2002. Chicago by Rob Marshall. See trailer.

Road to Perdition by Sam Mendes. See trailer.

2000. High Fidelity by Stephen Frears. See trailer of this film based in Wicker Park.

What Women Want by Nancy Meyers. See trailer.

1998. Blues Brothers 2000 by John Landis. See trailer.

1997. My Best Friend's Wedding by P.J. Hogan. See trailer. See 2 minutes from film.

1996. Chain Reaction by Andrew Davis. See trailer.

1995. While You Were Sleeping by Jon Turteltaub. See trailer.

1993. The Fugitive by (?). See 2 minutes from film.

1989. When Harry Met Sally by Rob Reiner. See excerpt.

1987. The Untouchables by Brian De Palma. See trailer.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles by John Hughes. See excerpt.

1986. Ferris Bueller's Day Off by John Hughes. See trailer.

About Last Night by Edward Zwick. See excerpt.

The Color of Money by Martin Scorsese. See excerpts. See New York Times review (October 17, 1986).

Running Scared by Peter Hyams. See opening scene, with views of downtown Chicago.

1984. Sixteen Candles by John Hughes. See trailer.

The Natural by Barry Levinson used Wrigley Field as a backdrop. See trailer. See Robert Redford's batting practice scene.

1980. The Blues Brothers by John Landis. See trailer.


1964. Robin and the 7 Hoods by Gordon Douglas. See trailer.

1963. The Fugitive by (?). See trailer.

1959. The Untouchables by Alex March. See opening.

North by Northwest by Alfred Hitchcock, featuring the Ambassador East hotel. See trailer.

1938. In Old Chicago by Darryl F. Zanuck. See trailer. Reviewed in the New York Times (January 16, 1938).

1936. Chicago May Day by Maurice Bailen.

Peace Parade and Workers' Picnic by Maurice Bailen.

1934. Halsted Street by Conrad (Nelson) Friberg.

The Great Depression by Maurice Bailen.



Chicago in all things Literary: Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Essays and Criticism



AL ASWANY, Alaa, Chicago, tr. Abdel Wahab,  New York: Harper, 2008.
ALGREN, Nelson, Chicago: City on the Make [1951], Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.
BELLOW, Saul, The Adventures of Augie March, 1953.
—, Herzog, 1964.
—, Ravelstein, 2000.
BROOKS, Gwendolyn, Selected Poems [1963], New York: HarperCollins, 2006.
CISNEROS, Sandra, The House on Mango Street [1984], New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 1991.
DREISER, Theodore, Sister Carrie [1900] , .
DYBEK, Stuart, The Coast of Chicago [1990], New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Picador, 2003.
—, Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, Stories, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003.
—, Streets in Their Own Ink (Poems), New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.
FULLER, Henry B., The Cliff Dwellers: A Novel, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1893.
GUZMAN, Richard R. (ed.), Black Writing From Chicago: In the World, Not of It?, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2006.
HUGHES, Langston, "Chicago," in Arnold Rampersad (ed.), The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, New York: Vintage, 1994, p.616-617.
KIPLING, Rudyard, "Chicago," chapter 5, American Notes (1891).
LIEBLING, A.J., Chicago, The Second City [1906], Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.
MAMET, David, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, 1974.
—, "the Museum of Science and Industry Story," 5 Television Plays, 1975.
McQUADE, Molly (ed.), An Unsentimental Education: Writers and Chicago, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
NESS, Eliot, The Untouchables, 1947.
PARETSKY, Sara, Fire Sale, 2005.
—, Writing in an Age of Silence, London: Verso, 2007.
PYNCHON, Thomas, Against the Day (2006).
SANDBURG, Carl, Chicago Poems, 1916.
—, The Chicago Race Riots, July 1919, 1919.
SHERWIN, Byron L., The Cubs and the Kabbalist, Denton, Texas: West Oak Press, 2006.
SINCLAIR, Upton, The Jungle [1906], New York: American Library/Signet Classic, 2001; New York: Random House/Modern Libary, 2002.
WRIGHT, Richard, Native Son [1940], New York: Vintage, 2000.


Chicago's Reality (outside of Literature)


ADDAMS, Jane, My Friend, Julia Lathrop, New York: Macmillan Co., 1935.
ADLER, Jeffrey S., "'Halting the Slaughter of the Innocents,': the Civilizing Process and the Surge in violence in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago," in Social Science History 25.1 (2001) p.29-52.
BACHIN, Robin F., Building the South Side: Urban Space and Civic Culture in Chicago, 1890-1919, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
BULMER, Martin, The Chicago School of Sociology: Institutionalization, Diversity, and the Rise of Social Research, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
CARSON, Mina, Settlement Folk: Social Thought and the American Settlement Movement, 1885-1930, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.
CONDIT, Carl W., The Chicago School of Architecture: A History of Commercial and Public Building in the Chicago Area, 1985-1925 [19 ??], Chicago: U Chicago Press, 1973.
CRONON, William, Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, 1991.
DEEGAN, Mary Jo, "W.E.B. Du Bois and the Women of Hull-House, 1895-1899," American Sociologist 19.4 (Winter 1988), p.301-310.
DIAMOND, Andrew, "From Fighting Gangs to Black Nations: Race, Power, and the Other Civil Rights Movement in chicago's West Side Ghetto, 1957-1968" Revue Française d'Etudes Américaines 116 (Spring 2008) p.51-65.
DRAKE, St. Clair and CAYTON, Horace R., Black Metropolis, A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City, [1945], Revised and Enlarged, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
DURKIN KEATING, Ann, Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs: A Historical Guide, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
DZUBACK, Mary Ann, Robert M. Hutchins: Portrait of an Educator, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
EBNER, Michael H., Creating Chicago's North Shore: a Suburban History, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989.
GENET, Jean, "The Members of the Assembly," Esquire (November 1968) p.
GREEN, James, Death in the Haymarket.  A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement and the Bombing that Divided Gilded Age America, New York: Pantheon Books, 2006. Read first chapter here.
HARRIS, Neil, The Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
HOLLAND, Robert A.  Chicago In Maps: 1612-2002, Rizzoli, 2005.
HYRA, Derek S., The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
KUSCH, Frank, Battleground Chicago: The Police and the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
MARCEL, Jean-Christophe, "Maurice Halbwachs à Chicago ou les ambiguités d'un rationalisme Durkheimien," Revue d'Histoire des Sciences Humaines, 1:1 (1999) p.47-68.
MATHE, Sylvie (ed.), Regards Croisés sur Chicago, Aix en Provence: Publications de l'Université de Provence, 2004.
MEIS KNUPFUR, Anne, The Chicago Black Renaissance and Women's Activism, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006.
MULLEN, Bill V., review of A.M. Knupfer's The Chicago Black Renaissance and Women's Activism in Women And Social Movements in the United States 10.4 (December 2006).
OBAMA, Barack, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, [1995], Revised Edition, New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004.
PACYGA, Dominic A.  Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago: Workers on the South Side, 1880-1922, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991, 2003.
ROYKO, Mike, Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago, 1971.
ROWE, Mike, Chicago Blues: The City and the Music [1973], London: Perseus, 1975.
SAWISLAK, Karen, Smoldering City: Chicagoans and the Great Fire, 1871-1874, Chicago: U Chicago Press, 1995.
SCHULTZ, Rima Lunin and HAST, Adele (eds), Women Building Chicago 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.
SKLAR, Kathryn Kish, "Hull House in the 1890s: A Community of Women Reformers," Signs 10 (Summer 1985) p.658-77.
SMITH, Carl, Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief: The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman, Chicago: U Chicago Press, 1994.
—, The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City, Chicago: U Chicago Press, 2006.
SOLZMAN, David M., The Chicago River: An Illustrated History and Guide to the River and Its Waterways [19 ??], Chicago: U. Chicago Press, 2006.
TERKEL, Studs, Division Street: America, 1967.
—, Chicago, 1987.
YELLEN, Samuel, American Labor Struggles [Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1936], 1969, 1974.

Chicago: Reference Works

GROSSMAN, James R., DURKIN KEATING, Ann, and REIFF, Janice L. (eds), The Encyclopedia of Chicago, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.




Chicago: Tourism


CANNING BLACKWELL, Elizabeth, Frommer's Chicago 2007, New York: Wiley Publishing, 2007.
HOLDEN, Greg, Literary Chicago: A Book Lover's Tour of the Windy City, Chicago: Lake Claremont Press, 2001.



Sweet Home Chicago


Recently popularized in the movie The Blues Brothers, the song was first performed by Robert Johnson in the 1930s. It has been sung by many artists, including Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy.

Blogging Chicago

Other useful things