Civil Rights and Intolerance

After World War, I, in the 1920s was called “ Roaring Twenties”. It was a unique period of American history. This era was said one of the bright hope for rapid advance of technology and economy, The decades of American’s life to the better living. Nevertheless, it was few years passed since World War I ended. The retribution from the war ended up the incident of Red scare and Great Migration. Many immigrants from East Europe also struggled to seize the better opportunity in American.

The world still tried to recover from the war. The conclusion caused thousand of strikes against labors and races. Many riots apparent white counteraction to African Americans. Both African American and immigrants were a target of racial discrimination.

African American

After the great war ended, Black soldiers began to return from the war. About 350,00 had served in uniforms. African American emerged from World War I determined to achieve rights. Many African Americans migrated to industrial cities from South to North.

The main reasons were higher payment, the right to vote and brand new economic. They allowed building their own community and economy. Although it angered and sparked white violence against blacks. The numerous of lynchings terrifying increase from 48 to 79 in about 2 years in the South. Plenty of race riots were spread throughout the country.

One of the most horrific incidents “Tulsa Race Riot” occurred over 18 hours. The first day was May 31 until June 1, 1921. It was one of the least-know race riots that affect many families and people’s life.

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In Tulsa city, There was a neighborhood named “Greenwood”. It had around 10,000 black residents lived including business. The sparked was a young black teen was convict of harassed a white elevator operator in the elevator, at an office building on South Main Street. The news published in the following afternoon and had angered the white community nearby. At the same time, the teen was arrested for sexually assaulting. The clash of whites and blacks, whites tried to get the teenage, blacks also tried to prevent others from success. At the results, according to a later Red Cross estimate, some 1,256 houses were burned; 215 others were looted but not torched. Two newspaper, a school, a library, a hospital, churches, hotels, stores, and many other black-owned businesses were among the buildings destroyed or damaged by fire. (Tulsa Race Riot: HISTORY) Once scientists and historians researched for the shreds of evidence and the scene many years later. They found that, in 2001, the report of the Race Riot Commission concluded that between 100 and 300 people were killed and more than 8,000 people made homeless over those 18 hours in 1921 (Tulsa Race Riot: HISTORY)

Even it was the most one of the deadliest acts of racial violence in United States history. The riot has barely existed in both Oklahoma history books and classroom lessons. (Tulsa race riot of 1921: world book student)

The ideal of racial intolerance continued to increase in the 1920s. Along with racism violence and members of Ku Klux Klan. After the release of the film called The Birth of Nation on February 8, 1915, by D.W. Griffith. The influence of the film brought back the rebirth of Ku Klux Klan. William Joseph Simmons was believed as the leader of the rebirth of Ku Klux Klan. He already knew the date of releasing the film causes him to bring some of the members o to burn down the big cross on Stone Mountain and persuaded people to join with him along with advertisement of the Birth of a Nation o newspaper. On the opening night, a crowd of men and women wearing white sheet and Confederate uniforms with hooded horses paraded at Peach Street. One of them fired at a man in theatre.(How ’The Birth of a Nation’ Revived the Ku Klux Klan: HISTORY)

Ku Klux Klan started to spread across the country in North and South. But the victim of Ku Klux Klan were not only African American. The anti-foreign feeling also led to a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. The Klan expanded its original anti-black stand to include hatred of Jews, Catholics, and foreigners. (History & Geography)

However, NAACP unsuccessfully to remonstrate the film because of the popularity of the film. NAACP or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a organization which support and conserve African American civil right, economic, society and community.

Sacco-Vanzetti trial

Not only African Americans were on the red line of racial discrimination. People were scared of communist by the Third International by the Soviet Union’s new Bolshevik leaders.

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were two Italian immigrants. Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested for murdered during the robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts on May 5, 1920. The trial continued until on April 9, 1927, Judge Thayer sentences Sacco and Vanzetti to death. Liberals and radicals portrayed them as martyrs and claimed that they anarchist political beliefs rather than for any crime they had committed. (United States History Heritage of Freedom. On August 23, 1927, they finally executed.

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Civil Rights and Intolerance. (2021, Apr 23). Retrieved from

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