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date: 06 August 2020

New York City.locked

  • Martha Jane Nadell

Extract

On the night of 15 August 1900 New York City s Tenderloin district in mid Manhattan on the West Side witnessed the outbreak of the first of a number of race riots that would punctuate the twentieth century Two days earlier a young African American man whose peripatetic life began in Richmond Virginia had killed a white policeman who had accused the black man s young girlfriend of solicitation The Tenderloin s African American residents who were predominantly poor and working class immediately began to worry about retribution they were right to do so On the eve of the burial of the policeman a fight broke out between a black man and a white man and the white population shortly set upon the African American residents and workers in the area The policemen who were predominantly of Irish descent did not protect the victims rather they participated even egging ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.

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