A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919

About the Author

Claire Hartfield is an attorney who specialized in school desegregation litigation. Recently she has been involved in setting policy and programs in a predominantly African American charter school in Chicago, where she lives. Her grandmother’s experiences during the 1919 riot inspired this book.


“Richly illustrated with contemporary photographs, the narrative is also carefully researched, drawing on accounts from the time… A comprehensive, careful account.” —Kirkus

This well-documented text outlines the events leading to the race riot in Chicago in the summer of 1919…This solid entry covers a topic not often mentioned in YA literature, and will support researchers looking for balanced coverage for history, civil rights, and economics reports.”
— Booklist

“Photos, editorial cartoons, and advertisements further immerse readers in a vivid chronicle with no shortage of contemporary relevance.”–Publishers Weekly

“A worthy and gripping account of early 20th-century African American, immigrant, and labor history framed by the haunting murder of a young black man.”–School Library Journal

“This readable, compelling history explores the longstanding and deeply rooted causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot, which left thirty-eight people dead and 537 wounded (two-thirds of the casualties were black; one-third, white).”–Horn Book

“Young readers will find this an excellent example of narrative nonfiction.”–VOYA

A sweeping drama.”–BCCB

Original price was: $18.99.Current price is: $17.47.

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919


This mesmerizing narrative nonfiction draws on contemporary accounts as it traces the roots of an explosion that had been building for decades in race relations, politics, business, and clashes of culture.

Coretta Scott King Award winner * Carter G. Woodson Book Award from the National Council for the Social Studies

On a hot day in July 1919, five black youths went swimming in Lake Michigan, unintentionally floating close to the white beach. An angry white man began throwing stones at the boys, striking and killing one.

Racial conflict on the beach erupted into days of urban violence that shook the city of Chicago to its foundations.

A Few Red Drops is readable, compelling history, The Horn Book wrote, adding that the book uses meticulously chosen archival photos, documents, newspaper clippings, and quotes from multiple primary sources.

Includes archival photos and prints, source notes, bibliography, and an index.


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