In September 1918, a Finnish immigrant named Olli Kinkkonen was lynched in Duluth, allegedly for dodging military service during World War I. Kinkkonen was found dead, tarred and feathered, and hanging from a tree in Lester Park. Authorities did not pursue murder charges because they claimed that he had committed suicide after the shame of having been tarred and feathered.
During and immediately following World War I, a large population of African Americans emigrated from the South to the North and Midwest in search of job opportunities. The predominantly white Midwest perceived the black migrant laborers as a threat to their employment, as well as to their ability to negotiate pay rates. US Steel, for instance, the most important regional employer, addressed labor concerns by leveraging African-American laborers, migrants from the South.
This racial antagonism erupted into race riots across the North and Midwest in 1919; this period of widespread flourishes of violence became known as the Red Summer of 1919. Even after the riots subsided, racial relations between blacks and whites remained strained and volatile.
Read more about this topic: 1920 Duluth Lynchings
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Famous quotes containing the word background:
“Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“They were more than hostile. In the first place, I was a south Georgian and I was looked upon as a fiscal conservative, and the Atlanta newspapers quite erroneously, because they didnt know anything about me or my background here in Plains, decided that I was also a racial conservative.”
—Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.)
“I had many problems in my conduct of the office being contrasted with President Kennedys conduct in the office, with my manner of dealing with things and his manner, with my accent and his accent, with my background and his background. He was a great public hero, and anything I did that someone didnt approve of, they would always feel that President Kennedy wouldnt have done that.”
—Lyndon Baines Johnson (19081973)