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Division III: Whose Story Does History Tell?

Submitted by on July 17, 2013 – 9:36 amNo Comment

While reading online one day, Andrew Lavender 11F came across a Wikipedia entry that introduced him to a historical incident he had to know more about:

The Houston Riot of 1917 grew out of a series of events that escalated racial tensions between an African-American battalion and white townspeople. During the riot by 156 soldiers, four soldiers and 16 civilians were killed. In a case that eventually worked its way up to the desk of President Woodrow Wilson, the rioting soldiers were tried by three courts-martial, with 19 executed and 41 given life sentences.Andrew_Lavender_cropped

What he read — and what he felt he didn’t read — about the dynamics of the Houston Riot fascinated Lavender. He went to the library to find everything available on the topic. Primary source materials used in his research included African-American newspapers from the period as well as the NAACP magazine, The Crisis, edited by W.E.B. DuBois. These publications chronicled reactions around the country to what had happened in Houston.