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Racial Violence in the United States Since 1660

Running the Negro Out of Tulsa, June 1, 1921
Image Ownership: Public domain

Regrettably racial violence has been a distinct part of American history since 1660. While that violence has impacted almost every ethnic and racial group in the United States, it has had a particularly horrific effect on African American life. Listed below are some of the major incidents of racial violence profiled on They range from revolts of the enslaved in the early 1700s to urban uprisings in the 21st Century. This page does not cover violence affecting single individuals such as lynchings or police shootings. Please look for information on those incidents on our linked pages listed at the bottom of this page. We are constantly updating this list but if you think other incidents should be included please send their names and a brief description to suggestions [at] blackpast [dot] org. We especially invite you to write entries for this page.


Revolts of the Enslaved:

New York City Slave Uprising, 1712

The Stono Rebellion, 1739

New York City Slave Conspiracy, 1741

Gabriel Prosser Revolt, 1800

Igbo Landing Mass Suicide, 1803

Andry’s Rebellion, 1811

Denmark Vesey Conspiracy, 1822

Nat Turner Revolt, 1831

Amistad Mutiny, 1839

Creole Case, 1841

Slave Revolt in the Cherokee Nation, 1842


Antebellum Urban Violence

Cincinnati Riots, 1829

Cincinnati Race Riots, 1836

The Pennsylvania Hall Fire, 1838

Christina (Pennsylvania) Riot, 1851

Civil War, Reconstruction, and Post-Reconstruction Era Violence

Detroit Race Riot, 1863

New York City Draft Riots, 1863

Memphis Riot, 1866

New Orleans Massacre, 1866

Pulaski Race Riot, 1868

Opelousas Massacre, 1868

The Meridian Race Riot, 1871

Chicot County Race War, 1871

The Colfax Massacre, 1873

Clinton (Mississippi) Riot, 1875

Hamburg Massacre, 1876

Carroll County Courthouse Massacre, 1886

New Orleans Dockworkers' Riot, 1894-1895

Wilmington Race Riot, 1898

Newburg, New York Race Riot, 1899

Race Riots, 1900-1960

Robert Charles Riot (New Orleans), 1900

New York City Race Riot, 1900

Atlanta Race Riot, 1906

Springfield, Illinois Race Riot, 1908

East St. Louis Race Riot, 1917

Chester, Pennsylvania Race Riot, 1917

Houston Mutiny and Race Riot, 1917

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Race Riot, 1918

Charleston (South Carolina) Riot, 1919

Washington, D.C. Riot, 1919

Chicago Race Riot, 1919

Knoxville Race Riot, 1919

Elaine, Arkansas Riot, 1919

Tulsa Race Riot, 1921

Rosewood Massacre, 1923

Harlem Race Riot, 1935

Beaumont Race Riot, 1943

Detroit Race Riot, 1943

Urban Uprisings, 1960-2000

Cambridge, Maryland Riot, 1963

The Harlem Race Riot, 1964

Rochester Rebellion, 1964

Jersey City Uprising, 1964

Paterson, New Jersey Uprising, 1964

Elizabeth, New Jersey Uprising, 1964

Chicago (Dixmoor) Riots, 1964

Philadelphia Race Riot, 1964

Watts Rebellion (Los Angeles), 1965

Cleveland’s Hough Riots, 1966

Chicago, Illinois Uprising, 1966

The Dayton, Ohio Uprising, 1966

Hunter’s Point, San Francisco Uprising, 1966

Newark Race Riot, 1967

Plainfield, New Jersey Riot, 1967

Detroit Race Riot, 1967

Flint, Michigan Riot, 1967

Tuscon Race Riot, 1967

Grand Rapids, Michigan Uprising, 1967

The King Assassination Riots, 1968

Hartford, Connecticut Riot, 1969

Asbury Park Race Riot, 1970

Camden, New Jersey Riots, 1969 and 1971

Miami (Liberty City) Riot, 1980

Crown Heights (Brooklyn) New York Riot, 1991

Rodney King Riot, 1992

West Las Vegas Riot, 1992

St. Petersburg, Florida Riot, 1996


College Campus Violence:

University of Georgia Desegregation Riot, 1961

Ole Miss Riot, 1962

Houston (Texas Southern University) Riot, 1967

Orangeburg Massacre, 1968

Jackson State Killings, 1970


21st Century Racial Violence

Cincinnati Riot, 2001

Oscar Grant Oakland Protests, 2009-2011

Ferguson Riot and Ferguson Unrest, 2014-2015

Baltimore Protests and Riots, 2015

Charleston Church Massacre, 2015

Milwaukee Riot, 2016

Charlotte Riot, 2016


Related Pages:

Black Lives Matter

Lynchings in the United States Since 1865

Race, Crime, and Incarceration in the United States

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