Self Defense

By Tuesday evening, July 29, 1919, Chicago’s Black veterans began to do what Black Chicagoans had done long before: they organized for the defense of their community.

As Harry Haywood remembered:

“One of the guys from the regiment took us to the apartment of a friend,” he recalled in his autobiography. “It had a good position overlooking Fifty-First Street near State. Someone had brought a Browning submachine gun; he’d gotten it sometime before, most likely from the Regimental Armory. We didn’t ask where it had come from, or the origin of the 1903 Springfield rifles (Army issue) that appeared.”


Writer. Formerly civil rights attorney. Currently professor. Working on new book about mental disability and criminal law in the 20th century.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s