Learning from the Past to Improve the Future

Students had an opportunity to learn more about the causes and aftermath of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot in a recent Morning Ex when Claire Hartfield,the author of A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, visited the school.
Before Hartfield took the stage, local dancer, actor and son of Parker dance teacher Isaiah Harris delivered a dramatic rendition of the monologue of Eugene Williams, a fictionalized first-person account of the death of a child killed in the riot.
Hartfield took the audience back in time to a hot July day in 1919 when racial conflict erupted into two days of violence that changed the city of Chicago forever. Using narrative accounts and historical imagery, she helped her student audience trace the roots of the conflict, which had been building for decades, in race relations, politics, business and clashes of culture.
All in attendance left with a better understanding of this infamous piece of the city’s history.

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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.