“Chicago and Its Eight Reasons”
"As U.S. soldiers returned from Europe in the aftermath of World War I, scarce housing and jobs heightened racial and class antagonisms across urban America. African-American soldiers, in particular, came home from the war expecting to enjoy the full rights of citizenship that they had fought to defend overseas. In the spring and summer of 1919, murderous race riots erupted in 22 American cities and towns. Chicago experienced the most severe of these riots. The Crisis, published by the NAACP, responded to the Chicago race riot with a major article in October 1919, “Chicago and Its Eight Reasons.” Author Walter White, then assistant executive secretary of the NAACP, described eight causes of the riot and concluded that tensions had increased in the city partially in response to the influx of African Americans. Though sympathetic to the new migrants' plight, White’s article criticized both African-American newcomers to Chicago and the city’s black politicians. White also concluded, approvingly, that some black citizens, with a newfound spirit of independence, chose to retaliate against the pervasive attacks by white Chicagoans rather than remain passive victims. In this October 1919 article in the Crisis, the NAACP national magazine, the organization’s assistant executive secretary, Walter White, asserts that the black population had been made the scapegoat in the wake of the violence. He lists eight causes for the riot, with “race prejudice” being the foremost."