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Race, Space, and Riots in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles$
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Janet L. Abu-Lughod

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195328752

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328752.001.0001

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The Black Uprising after King's Assassination in 1968

The Black Uprising after King's Assassination in 1968

(p.79) 3 The Black Uprising after King's Assassination in 1968
Race, Space, and Riots in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles

Janet L. Abu-Lughod

Oxford University Press

One might use the military phrase “low-intensity war” to describe the interim period between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s in Chicago, during which there were forays and retreats but few confrontations involving great violence. On the West Side, the very poor Second Ghetto was absorbing into its ancient housing stock and its newer public housing projects minorities who could not afford the better housing and more organized community on the South Side. It was chiefly on the West Side that low-intensity warfare would be transformed into open hostilities after the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., in April 1968. The signs of dissent were already apparent in the years before that massive response. While reactions of despair and anger triggered demonstrations in virtually all areas of Chicago where blacks lived, only in the West Side Second Ghetto did events spin out of control in arson and looting.

Keywords:   West Side, Martin Luther King Jr, great violence, low-intensity warfare, Second Ghetto, arson, looting

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