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1917

July 27, 1917, the army ordered the Third Battalion of the black to travel by train with seven white officers from the regimental encampment at Columbus, New Mexico, to Houston. From the outset, the black contingent faced racial discrimination when they received passes to go into the city. A majority of the men had been raised in the South and were familiar with segregation, but as army servicemen they expected equal treatment. Those individuals responsible for keeping order, especially the police, streetcar conductors, and public officials, viewed the presence of black soldiers as a threat to racial harmony. Many Houstonians thought that if the black soldiers were shown the same respect as white soldiers, black residents of the city might come to expect similar treatment. Black soldiers were willing to abide by the legal restrictions imposed by segregated practices, but they resented the manner in which the laws were enforced. They disliked having to stand in the rear of streetcars when vacant seats were available in the "white" section and resented the racial slurs hurled at them by white laborers at Camp Logan. Some police officers regularly harassed African Americans, both soldiers and civilians. Most black Houstonians concealed their hostility and endured the abuse, but a number of black soldiers openly expressed their resentment. The police recognized the plight of the enlisted men, but did little to alert civil authorities to the growing tensions. When they sought ways to keep the enlisted men at the camp, the blacks disliked this exchange of their freedom for racial peace.

Many soldiers were wrongly accused because no witnesses were able to distinguish the soldiers during the riot. A lot of soldiers were lost.

HOUSTON RACE RIOT

http://http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/garvey/peopleevents/e_estlouis.html


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