Race, Privilege, and Policing in Postwar Chicago
Chapter three documents the cascade of white violence in the postwar era and the often-failing police response to it. During and after the Second World War, a second wave of the Great Migration began again in earnest. As hundreds of thousands of Black people moved to Chicago during this period, their need for housing provoked pitched battles between the forces of integration and segregation. In particular, white Chicagoans routinely rioted against Black newcomers seeking places to live in previously all-white neighborhoods. As they did so, the issue of police protection of Black life and property emerged as a central question for both civil leaders and Black citizens to confront. As white police officers and the department’s white leadership responded to white-on-Black violence half-heartedly or, on occasion, by sympathizing with the white perpetrators, fair policing emerged as a pivotal issue for 1950s-era civil rights campaigns in Chicago.
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