Knoxville's Red Summer: The Riot of 1919
On August 30, 1919, 27 year old Bertie Lindsey was assaulted and murdered in her home by what was reported to be a Black intruder. The lead investigator on the case, Police Officer Andy White, had a particular grudge to settle and arrested a handsome, young man about town, Maurice Mays.
The next 48 hours would challenge the city of Knoxville’s highly touted progressive race relations and New South marketing. The Sheriff, having relocated the accused to Chattanooga, Tennessee, would see the destruction of the jail house, mass consumption of confiscated moonshine and the would-be lynch mob’s looting of weapons from downtown shops.
Soon the rioters turned their rage to the Black business district and where they were met with armed and prepared Black military veterans. Eventually and through loss of life and property, the National Guard managed to restore order to the city, but no such relief was found by Maurice Mays. He was eventually executed by the State for a crime he did not commit.
KNOXVILLE'S RED SUMMER: THE RIOT OF 1919 includes rare archival footage of the city, post riot, unseen by the public since. Through a partnership with the Tennessee Archives of Moving Images and Sound, Black in Appalachia was not only able to secure this footage, but preserve this film, locally, for generations to come.
The Heat of a Red Summer: Race Mixing, Race Rioting in 1919 Knoxville by Robert J. Booker - ISBN: 1-58244-150-2
Anatomy of Four Race Riots: Racial Conflict in Knoxville, Elanie (Arkansas), Tulsa, and Chicago, 1919-1921 by Lee E. Williams and Lee E. Williams II - ISBN: 978-1-60473-190-3
1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back by David F. Krugler - ISBN: 978-1-107-63961-4
From Race Riot to Sit-in: 1919 and the 1960's by Arthur I. Waskow
Other Associated Materials
Racial Violence, Lynchings, and Modernization in the Mountain South by W. Fitzhugh Brundage - Appalachians and Race: The Mountain South From Slavery to Segregation, pages 302-316 - ISBN: 0-8131-2173-6
Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America by Elliot Jaspin - ISBN: 978-0-465-03636-3