This is the day in 1935 on 125th Street in Harlem the phrase changed. Up until that point it had been anchored to a different meaning, and the one that some eighty years later we still hear being used in places like Ferguson & with the Baltimore Uprising.
$35,302,238.80,in damages by today’s standard (est. 2 million in 1935)
3 lives lost, hundreds injured in a full day of mayhem.
The Riot in Harlem of 1935 changed the paradigm. While its roots & causes were as the commission found afterwards deeply rooted in the very same issues and created a whole new usage of the term which was outlined by the sociologist Alan D. Grimshaw to proclaim the modern form of racial rioting:
- “violence directed almost entirely against property”
- “the absence of clashes between racial groups”
- “struggles between the lower-class Negro population and the police forces”
Later the eminent philosopher would state:
“the Negro is not merely the man who shouldn’t be forgotten; he is the man who cannot safely be ignored.”
— Alain Locke