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.”