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Sunday, June 2, 2019

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Auburn Avenue Research Library
101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
United States


The Baton Foundation, Inc., in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, will host a lecture and book signing about a little-known period of violence against Blacks during the second decade of the twentieth century. This program is free and open to the public.

Program Narrative

After World War I, Black Americans fervently hoped for a new epoch of peace, prosperity, and equality. Black soldiers believed their participation in the fight to make the world safe for democracy finally earned them rights they had been promised since the close of the Civil War.

Instead, an unprecedented wave of anti-Black riots and lynchings swept the country for eight months. From April to November of 1919, the racial unrest rolled across the South into the North and the Midwest, even to the nation’s capital. Millions of lives were disrupted, and hundreds of lives were lost. Blacks responded by fighting back with an intensity and determination never seen before.

Red Summer is the first narrative history written about this epic encounter. Focusing on the worst riots and lynchings—including those in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Charleston, Omaha and Knoxville—Cameron McWhirter chronicles the mayhem, while also exploring the first stirrings of a civil rights movement that would transform American society forty years later.

About the Author

Cameron McWhirter is a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Based in Atlanta, he covers politics, economics, breaking news and other subjects. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude from Hamilton College, where he majored in history, and he earned a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to joining the Journal in 2010, he worked for several news organizations including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Detroit News, reporting in various cities across the U.S. as well as Bosnia, Iraq, Costa Rica and other countries. He has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson fellowship for research in Eritrea and the Sudan, and a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University. He is the author of Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America (Henry Holt, 2011). He lives in Decatur, Georgia, with his wife, two children, two dogs, two rabbits, a cat and two beehives.

NOTE: Limited free parking is available in the lot behind the library. You may secure a parking pass from the library’s concierge desk. Also, recording of any kind is not permitted at Baton Foundation events.

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