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Racial Massacres and the Red Summer of 1919: A Resource Guide

From 1919 to 1923, racial discrimination triggered massacres in more than twenty cities across the country. This guide provides access to related Library of Congress digitized primary sources, links to related websites, and a print bibliography.


Many African Americans left the South and headed to northern and western cities post World War I to escape racial violence, lynchings, and national genocide. In the summer of 1919, several racial attacks against African Americans occurred in various places around the country. James Weldon Johnson named these brutal occurrences the "Red Summer." The collections of the Library of Congress contain a variety of materials related to racial massacres. Many primary source materials from the Library's collections have been digitized and are described and linked from this guide. In addition, related resources available from the Library and from external websites are included. Finally, we provide a selected bibliography of print resources for both general and younger readers available at the Library of Congress, but likely also available from your local public or research library.