Urban Riots In The 1960s Essay

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Discrimination, joblessness, poverty, segregation, and housing problems prompted many urban riots in the 1960s. While some riots happened due to specific events, all of these incidents of civil unrest took place in areas with a large population of African Americans. According to Thomson Gale of Encyclopedia.com, if there was a sufficient African American population and something set them off, in those days it was enough to start a riot.
History.com asserts that the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. sparked many riots in the days following his death on April 4, 1968. Many cities experienced some civil unrest after Dr.King’s death, but it was especially violent in Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Kansas City. Below, see Table 1 (Collins
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Max Herman, in his oral history of the Newark and Detroit riots, notes that back then, second shift workers who missed last call at the bar would go to illegal afterhours bars called “blind pigs”. Herman goes on to describe a police raid on that fateful evening of a blind pig that was serving about eighty blacks. As the police rounded up the offenders, some black men who were outside observing them decided that this was not fair and attacked the officers with Molotov cocktails.
The riot had begun. For five days, this riot raged on, first with the looters breaking into stores, then the fires that were started and finally the National Guard came in to stop it all. Forty-three people died, and more than 1100 injured, which made this one of the most deadly riots of the decade. (Herman)
So many riots happened in the 1960s that it is amazing that those cities are still standing. Some treatment of African Americans gradually improved with the Fair Housing Act. President Johnson urged the House of Representatives to pass the Fair Housing Act less than a week after that, April 10, 1968 to honor MLK’s memory. (History.com Fair Housing Act of 1968) This meant to alleviate the discrimination of blacks but only as far as housing went. Sadly, there is a long way to go. If we have learned anything from the past, it should be that everyone in this country must be treated

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