PRESS COLLECTION: “White Families Protesting Black Family Moving In – Race Riot in Cicero, Illinois” (1951)

Angry crowd of ignorant white People in Cicero, IL who are protesting the arrival of a negro Family in their town.

Racist White People Riot in Cicero, IL. 1951
Racial Riot Scenes in Cicero, Illinois 1951
Race Riot Scenes in Cicero, Illinois in 1951

Cicero Family Feeds Soldiers During Riot

Cicero, Illinois where a race riot took place the night before, July 12, 1951. The aftermath of World War II saw a revival of white attacks on black mobility, mostly on the city’s South and Southwest Sides, but also in the western industrial suburb of Cicero. Aspiring African American professionals seeking to obtain improved housing beyond the increasingly overcrowded South Side ghetto, whether in private residences or in the new public housing developments constructed by the Chicago Housing Authority, were frequently greeted by attempted arsons, bombings, and angry white mobs often numbering into the thousands. The 1951 Cicero riot, in particular, lasting several nights and involving roughly two to five thousand white protesters, attracted worldwide condemnation. By the end of the 1950s, with black residential presence somewhat more firmly established, the battleground in many South Side neighborhoods shifted to clashes over black attempts to gain unimpeded access to neighborhood parks and beaches.

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