Five deadly race riots in America that destroyed successful and thriving black communities and businesses

Mohammed Awal October 25, 2019

Atlanta Race Riot of 1906

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Photo Credit: Georgia Humanities

The Atlanta Race Riot of 1906 was the first race riot to take place in the capital city of Georgia and it was a culmination of many factors including lingering tensions from reconstruction, job competition, black voting rights and the un-taming desire of African Americans to gain their civil rights.

It lasted from September 22 to September 24. By 1900, the black population in Atlanta nearly doubled, according to statistics. As a result, job competition became intense and white politicians responded by implementing and expanding Jim Crow laws. The laws entrenched segregation to limit the ability of the African Americans but they were resilient. A small number of black families achieved a significant measure of success. Black men voted during Reconstruction and continued to do so after their counterparts were pushed off the rolls throughout the rest of the South, according to

A considerable African American political activism in the city followed and the thriving black middle class made many white citizens uncomfortable. The 1906 gubernatorial campaign added fuel to the racial fire, as both Democratic candidates, Hoke Smith, and Clark Howell, advocated disenfranchisement of all black voters in their respective newspapers.

Four allegations of sexual attacks on white women by black men were reported in the local white press on September 22, triggering a mob of approximately 10,000 white men to surge through black Atlanta neighborhoods destroying businesses and assaulting hundreds of black men. The violence became so dangerous that the state militia was called in to take control of the city.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: October 25, 2019


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