Atlanta Skyline Georgia, the state's largest city, and the seat of Fulton County.
Local newspaper reports of alleged assaults by black males on white females were the catalyst for the riot, but a number of underlying causes lay behind the outbreak of mob violence.
Such conditions caused concern among elite whites, who feared the social intermingling of the races, and led to an expansion of Jim Crow segregation, particularly in the separation of white and black neighborhoods and separate seating areas for public transportation.
During Reconstructionblack men were given the right to vote, and as blacks became more involved in the political realm, they began to establish businesses, create social networks, and build communities.
Many whites, while uncomfortable with the advances of the black elite, also disapproved of these saloons, which were said to be decorated with Atlanta race riot of nude women. Concern over such establishments fueled prohibition advocates in the city, and many whites began to blame black saloon-goers for rising crime rates in the growing city, and particularly for threats of black sexual violence against white women.
In the months leading up to the August election, both Hoke Smith, the former publisher of the Atlanta Journal, and Clark Howell, the editor of the Atlanta Constitution, were in the position as gubernatorial candidates of being able to influence public opinion through their newspapers.
Smith, with the public support of former Populist Thomas E. Since receiving the right to vote, Smith argued, blacks also had sought economic and social equality. By disenfranchising blacks, whites could maintain the social order. Howell, on the other hand, claimed that the Democratic white primary and the poll tax were already sufficient in limiting black voting.
Instead, Howell emphasized that Smith was not the racial separatist he claimed to be, and he charged that Smith had in the past cooperated with black political leaders and thus could not be relied upon to advance the cause of white supremacy.
In the early s many whites disapproved of the saloons that some blacks frequented in downtown Atlanta. Baker In addition to the political debates waged in the Journal and the Constitution, other newspapers, especially the Atlanta Georgian and the Atlanta News, carried stories throughout the year about alleged assaults on white women by black men.
The Riot On the afternoon of Saturday, September 22, Atlanta newspapers reported four alleged assaults, none of which were ever substantiated, upon local white women. Extra editions of these accounts, sensationalized with lurid details and inflammatory language intended to inspire fear if not revenge, circulated, and soon thousands of white men and boys gathered in downtown Atlanta.
City leaders, including Mayor James G. Woodward, sought to calm the increasingly indignant crowds but failed to do so. By early evening, the crowd had become a mob; from then until after midnight, they surged down Decatur Street, Pryor Street, Central Avenue, and throughout the central business district, assaulting hundreds of blacks.
Baker Although Herndon had closed down early and was already at home when his shop was damaged, another barbershop across the street was raided by the rioters—and the barbers were killed. The crowd also attacked streetcars, entering trolley cars and beating black men and women; at least three men were beaten to death.
Finally, the militia was summoned around midnight, and streetcar service was suspended. The mob showed no signs of letting up, however, and the crowd was dispersed only once a heavy rain began to fall around 2 a.
Atlanta was under the control of the state militia. On Sunday, September 23, the Atlanta newspapers reported that the state militia had been mustered to control the mob; they also reported that blacks were no longer a problem for whites because Hoke Smith provoked rising racial tensions in the state by running on a platform of black disenfranchisement during the gubernatorial campaign of The atmosphere of racial unrest resulted in the eruption of the Atlanta race riot in September While the police, armed with rifles, and militia patrolled the streets and key landmarks and guarded white property, blacks secretly obtained weapons to arm themselves against the mob, fearing its return.
Despite the presence of law enforcement, white vigilante groups invaded some black neighborhoods. In some areas African Americans defended their homes and were able to turn away the incursions into their communities.
One person who described such activity was Walter White, who experienced the riot as a young boy. Walter White, a prominent civil rights activist in Atlanta during the first half of the twentieth century, became the executive secretary of the NAACP in and served in that position until his death in The blacks were heavily armed.
When Fulton County police learned of the gathering, they feared a counterattack and launched a raid on Brownsville. A shootout ensued and an officer was killed. In response, three companies of heavily armed militia were sent to Brownsville, where they seized weapons and arrested more than African American men.
Meanwhile, sporadic fighting continued throughout the day. Indeed, the riot had been covered throughout the United States as well as internationally.
Fears of continued disorder prompted some white civic leaders to seek a dialogue with black elites, establishing a rare biracial tradition that convinced mainstream northern whites that racial reconciliation was possible in the South without national intervention.
Paired with black fears of renewed violence, however, this interracial cooperation exacerbated black social divisions as the black elite sought to distance itself from the lower class and its interests, leaving the city among the most segregated and socially stratified in the nation.
Newspaper accounts at the time and subsequent scholarly treatments of the riot vary widely on the number of casualties. Estimates range from twenty-five to forty African American deaths, although the city coroner issued only ten death certificates for black victims. Most accounts agree that only two whites were killed, one of whom was a woman who suffered a heart attack on seeing the mob outside her home.
There were other consequences of the riot as well, both locally and nationally. The riot contributed to the passage of statewide prohibition and black suffrage restriction by During the Atlanta race riot that occurred September , , white mobs killed dozens of blacks, wounded scores of others, and inflicted considerable property damage.
Local newspaper reports of alleged assaults by black males on white females were the catalyst for the riot, but a number of. This is a list of ethnic riots, sectarian riots, and race riots, by country. For many whites as well as black, Atlanta seemed to be the least likely place for a race riot at the turn of the century.
Atlanta was a model city of . The Tulsa race riot, sometimes referred to as the Tulsa massacre, Tulsa pogrom, or Tulsa race riot of , took place on May 31 and June 1, , when a mob of white citizens attacked residents and businesses of the African-American community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
This is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the history of the United States. The Atlanta Race Riot or Atlanta Riot of was the first race riot to take place in the capital city of Georgia.
The riot lasted from September 22 to September 24 and was the culmination of a number of factors, including lingering tensions from reconstruction. The Atlanta Music Festival History. The Atlanta Music Festival, formerly called the Atlanta Colored Music Festival, harks back to a century-old effort to unite black and white Atlantans through music.