Books: Non-Fiction

1919

Book — Non-fiction. By Eve L. Ewing. 96 pages. 2019.
Poetic reflections on the Chicago Race Riots of 1919 — part of ‘Red Summer’ — in a history told through Ewing’s speculative and Afrofuturist lenses.

Time Periods: 20th Century, World War I: 1910 - 1919, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: African American, Art & Music, Racism & Racial Identity
1919 by Eve Ewing

1919: Poetic reflections on race, class, violence, segregation, and the hidden histories that shape our divided urban landscapes.

The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, the most intense of the riots that comprised the “Red Summer” of violence across the nation’s cities, is an event that has shaped the last century but is widely unknown.

In 1919, award-winning poet Eve L. Ewing explores the story of this event—which lasted eight days and resulted in thirty-eight deaths and almost 500 injuries—through poems recounting the stories of everyday people trying to survive and thrive in the city.

Ewing uses speculative and Afrofuturist lenses to recast history, and illuminates the thin line between the past and the present. (Description from Haymarket Books.)

We can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Centered on the inner lives of Black individuals, real and/or imaginary (who’s to say?), in 1919 Chicago, the poems in 1919 ask how far we’ve come, and question ideas of progress and of thriving and surviving. On the centenary of the Red Summer, in an America hardly less violent and anti-black, Ewing wields a kaleidoscopic Afrofuturist style to illuminate a crucial piece of history and to imagine a path forward. –Kevin Chau, Editorial Fellow for Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of Summer

Eve L. Ewing is a writer and an assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. She is the author of Electric Arches and Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side.

ISBN: 9781608465989 | Published by Haymarket Books.

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