PRESS COLLECTION: “White Families Protesting Black Family Moving In – Race Riot in Cicero, Illinois” (1951)

Angry crowd of ignorant white People in Cicero, IL who are protesting the arrival of a negro Family in their town.

Racist White People Riot in Cicero, IL. 1951
Racial Riot Scenes in Cicero, Illinois 1951
Race Riot Scenes in Cicero, Illinois in 1951






Cicero Family Feeds Soldiers During Riot




Cicero, Illinois where a race riot took place the night before, July 12, 1951. The aftermath of World War II saw a revival of white attacks on black mobility, mostly on the city’s South and Southwest Sides, but also in the western industrial suburb of Cicero. Aspiring African American professionals seeking to obtain improved housing beyond the increasingly overcrowded South Side ghetto, whether in private residences or in the new public housing developments constructed by the Chicago Housing Authority, were frequently greeted by attempted arsons, bombings, and angry white mobs often numbering into the thousands. The 1951 Cicero riot, in particular, lasting several nights and involving roughly two to five thousand white protesters, attracted worldwide condemnation. By the end of the 1950s, with black residential presence somewhat more firmly established, the battleground in many South Side neighborhoods shifted to clashes over black attempts to gain unimpeded access to neighborhood parks and beaches.

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Posted in Civil Rights, Racism, Riots and tagged , , , .

5 Comments

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  3. - 60 Years Ago – One Family was Accused of Starting Chicago’s Second Worst Race Riot –

    Attorney George C. Adams and Charles S. Edwards, Realtor, were in the business of buying and selling property. They bought the wrong property from the wrong person in the wrong town. Almost five thousand watched as the riot reached its peak. The lawsuits and aftermath left one family member dead and others hurt, physically, psychologically, and financially for decades to come.
    The white owner of the burned building in Cicero claimed that my family was, “A group of colored incendiaries on the prowl for a chance to light a fuse.” (The Camille De Rose Story, 1953)
    Time Magazine wrote on Oct. 10, 1951:
    ‘SEQUELS Worse than the Cicero Riots,’ Edmund Burke said that he did not know how to indict a whole people; but last week the Cook County, ILL. Grand jury found a way of misusing the power of indictment to disgrace a whole metropolis.
    The grand jury investigated the riots at Cicero, an all-white town, where Harvey E. Clark, a Negro, was prevented from moving into an apartment that he had rented (TIME, July 23). Not one of the 126 persons arrested for rioting was indicted. Instead, the grand jury indicted George C. Adams, a Negro, who is part owner of the building where Clark leased a home; Charles Edwards, a Negro rental agent who handled the deal, and George N. Leighton, a respected Negro lawyer who acted as attorney for Clark and for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People after the riots started …The three Negroes, Leighton, Edwards and Adams, are accused of ‘conspiracy to damage property.’ The grand jury seems to think that it is wrong to rent an apartment in Cicero to a Negro, wrong to defend his rights, but O.K. to burn his furniture and chase him out of town. (unk.)

    “‘NO, N-O-E, NO’ -THE CICERO RIOT STORY,” THIS IS ONE FAMILY’S SAGA, AND THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CICERO RIOT.

  4. - 60 Years Ago – One Family was Accused of Starting Chicago’s Second Worst Race Riot –

    Attorney George C. Adams and Charles S. Edwards, Realtor, were in the business of buying and selling property. They bought the wrong property from the wrong person in the wrong town. Almost five thousand watched as the riot reached its peak. The lawsuits and aftermath left one family member dead and others hurt, physically, psychologically, and financially for decades to come.

    The white owner of the burned building in Cicero claimed that my family was, “A group of colored incendiaries on the prowl for a chance to light a fuse.” (The Camille De Rose Story, 1953)

    Time Magazine wrote on Oct. 10, 1951, “‘SEQUELS Worse than the Cicero Riots,’ Edmund Burke said that he did not know how to indict a whole people; but last week the Cook County, ILL. Grand jury found a way of misusing the power of indictment to disgrace a whole metropolis.

    The grand jury investigated the riots at Cicero, an all-white town, where Harvey E. Clark, a Negro, was prevented from moving into an apartment that he had rented (TIME, July 23). Not one of the 126 persons arrested for rioting was indicted. Instead, the grand jury indicted George C. Adams, a Negro, who is part owner of the building where Clark leased a home; Charles Edwards, a Negro rental agent who handled the deal, and George N. Leighton, a respected Negro lawyer who acted as attorney for Clark and for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People after the riots started …The three Negroes, Leighton, Edwards and Adams, are accused of ‘conspiracy to damage property.’ The grand jury seems to think that it is wrong to rent an apartment in Cicero to a Negro, wrong to defend his rights, but O.K. to burn his furniture and chase him out of town.” (unk.)

    THIS IS THEIR FAMILY SAGA, AND THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CICERO RIOT.

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