Red Summer of 1919 in Chicago and today

Peter Cole's picture

Please allow me to share some ongoing efforts to commemorate the history of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 via public art. First, a recent op-ed I co-wrote for the Chicago Tribune about how, just as murals of George Floyd are going up around the world, the City of Chicago should embrace public art as proposed by the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project (CRR19), for which I am founder and co-director:

Second, a 27-minute documentary on "Red Chicago" for the PBS show The Future of America's Past. This episode examines how different artists, historians, and organizations grappled with the legacy of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, during its centennial year, via public art and public history. CRR19 is one of the efforts featured in this episode, along with the poetry of Eve Ewing, a series of programs from the Newberry Library, a performance art piece, and more. (This show now is in its second season and features different topics, all related to public history):

I share this information in the event that folks in the Chicago area wish to join the CRR19 effort as well as because the approach advocated by CRR19 could be adopted and adapted to confront the history of racism and violence in many other (US) cities. You may find more at:

Thanks for your consideration!

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