History faculty explore the historic context of Eve Ewing’s book 1919. They will look at the early 20th Century but also connect Ewing’s work to broader Chicago & US history. This event is part of our One Book, One College Program.

This event was a part of the 2020-21 One Book, One Campus program. Learn more about the selection, Eve L. Ewing's 1919, and other event in the series on the One Book website.

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Explore the Historical Context

The 1619 Project

"Four hundred years after enslaved Africans were first brought to Virginia, many Americans still don’t know the full story of slavery, or understand the many ways its legacy continues to shape society in the United States. The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times to correct the record, reframing the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the national narrative." --Publisher's description

Chicago Transformed: World War I and the Windy City

by Joseph Gustaitis

"It’s been called the “war that changed everything,” and it is difficult to think of a historical event that had a greater impact on the world than the First World War. Events during the war profoundly changed our nation, and Chicago, especially, was transformed during this period. Between 1913 and 1919, Chicago transitioned from a nineteenth-century city to the metropolis it is today." Publisher's description

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

by Isabel Wilkerson

"From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves." Publisher's description

Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era

By Chad L. Williams

"For the 380,000 African American soldiers who fought in World War I, Woodrow Wilson's charge to make the world "safe for democracy" carried life-or-death meaning. Chad L. Williams reveals the central role of African American soldiers in the global conflict and how they, along with race activists and ordinary citizens, committed to fighting for democracy at home and beyond." --Publisher's description

The flu that killed 50 million

from BBC Studios

"It is 1918 and the end of WWI. Millions have died, and the world is exhausted by war. But soon a new horror is sweeping the world, a terrifying virus that will kill more than fifty million people - the Spanish flu. Using dramatic reconstruction and eyewitness testimony from doctors, soldiers, civilians and politicians, this one-off special brings to life the onslaught of the disease, the horrors of those who lived through it and the efforts of the pioneering scientists desperately looking for the cure." --Publisher's description

Tulsa, 1921: Reporting a Massacre

by Randy Krehbiel

"In 1921 Tulsa’s Greenwood District, known then as the nation’s “Black Wall Street,” was one of the most prosperous African American communities in the United States. But on May 31 of that year, a white mob, inflamed by rumors that a young Black man had attempted to rape a white teenage girl, invaded Greenwood. By the end of the following day, thousands of homes and businesses lay in ashes, and perhaps as many as three hundred people were dead. Tulsa, 1921 shines new light into the shadows that have long been cast over this extraordinary instance of racial violence. With the clarity and descriptive power of a veteran journalist, author Randy Krehbiel digs deep into the events and their aftermath and investigates decades-old questions about the local culture at the root of what one writer has called a white-led pogrom." --Publisher's description

Make Connections to the Present

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

by Robin Diangelo

"In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively." --Publisher's description

Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives are Surveilled and How to Work for Change

by Angela J. Hattery ad Earl Smith

"Intended to provoke controversial and uncomfortable discussion, Hattery and Smith's book focuses on what they expose as America's deeply rooted culture, history and ideology of deliberately violating black bodies in the name of policing. In ten chapters, they concentrate not simply on exonerated police killings of unarmed black men but also on mass incarceration in what they report as a new plantation economy with a pipeline running from schoolrooms to prison cells in a prison-industrial complex. Their concerns reach the indignities and insults blacks suffer daily not only at the hands of law enforcement and the criminal justice system but in every aspect of life amid the fiction of colorblind racism. Well documented, passionately argued, and engagingly written, this powerful analysis of systematic racism describes how society supports white, male, patriarchal, heterosexual privilege while oppressing marginalized peoples." --Library Journal

Choke Hold: Policing Black Men

by Paul Butler

"Cops, politicians, and ordinary people are afraid of black men. The result is the Chokehold: laws and practices that treat every African American man like a thug. In this explosive new book, an African American former federal prosecutor shows that the system is working exactly the way it’s supposed to. Black men are always under watch, and police violence is widespread—all with the support of judges and politicians." --Publisher's description

Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil

by Susan Neiman

"In the wake of white nationalist attacks, the ongoing debate over reparations, and the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments and the contested memories they evoke, Susan Neiman’s Learning from the Germans delivers an urgently needed perspective on how a country can come to terms with its historical wrongdoings. Neiman is a white woman who came of age in the civil rights–era South and a Jewish woman who has spent much of her adult life in Berlin. Working from this unique perspective, she combines philosophical reflection, personal stories, and interviews with both Americans and Germans who are grappling with the evils of their own national histories... In the United States, she interviews James Meredith about his battle for equality in Mississippi and Bryan Stevenson about his monument to the victims of lynching, as well as lesser-known social justice activists in the South, to provide a compelling picture of the work contemporary Americans are doing to confront our violent history. In clear and gripping prose, Neiman urges us to consider the nuanced forms that evil can assume, so that we can recognize and avoid them in the future." --Publisher's Description