And I think one thing I want to, you know, make clear is that the folks writing this report see themselves as kind of upstanding - other people see them as kind of upstanding citizens toward racial progress.

Just sit up and look around.

And Eugene was swimming in Lake Michigan, as we do. Dr. Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist of education and a writer from Chicago. So what precipitated the 1919 riot in Chicago? My working theory after, you know, being asked this question a couple of times about, like, why do you think people don't know much about it is that it's a story that doesn't have any heroes. GROSS: Why did you want to write a poem from his perspective? In 1919, award-winning poet Eve L. Ewing recovers the essentially human stories at the heart of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919: of the people who took part in it, and of the lives that were marked by it. And it's just sort of, you know - you might think of it as really dry. GROSS: So you taught in a Chicago public school on the South Side from 2011 to 2013.  C$22.42, C$17.93

We need to discipline them through often harsh and punitive measures.

One of the things that the police did was they established what they called a deadline across a street called Wentworth Avenue, where they said, OK, well, no black people can go west of this street and no white people can go east of this street for their own protection. And so this is, you know - these are not their opinions, but this is their honest assessment of the things that other people have put forth to solve, you know, the Negro problem. And I wouldn't be surprised if maybe in his time Eugene heard or sang some of the same versions or, you know, different iterations of jump-rope songs that maybe I sang and heard when I was a kid.  C$19.00, C$22.16 In 1919, her second collection of poems, Eve L. Ewing explores the story of this event—which lasted eight days and resulted in thirty-eight deaths and almost five hundred injuries— through poems recounting the stories of everyday people trying to survive and thrive in the city. It was a middle school. You said hope. They were basically neighborhood muscle that had this political protection.

So after hearing that paragraph Countless Schemes from the report, you have a poem called "Countless Schemes." Her book about the closing of Chicago's schools, deemed underresourced and underutilized, is called "Ghosts In The Schoolyard: Racism And School Closings On Chicago's South Side.". Her book of poems is called "1919." We need to make sure that we have surveillance set up.  C$19.99, C$19.70 And there was never an acknowledgement of the historical conditions that pushed people into this public housing in the first place and then removed it from the landscape, which then caused public school enrollment to be depleted at a rapid clip in a very short period of time. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days EWING: It's funny. I don't know if he was part of a broader political movement. And I think I learned through that to make a lot of space for my sadness. And if you're just joining us, my guest is Eve Ewing, a poet and sociologist who teaches courses on race and education at the University of Chicago, where she is an assistant professor. We'll be back after we take a short break. So that's why people fight for their schools. And he pulled out a gun and fired at the officers. I don't know if he had any prior history. GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. GROSS: Thank you, Eve.  C$39.00, C$17.28 Her books include "Ghosts In The Schoolyard: Racism And School Closings On Chicago's South Side."

And it ended up being one of the schools that was closed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel because it was deemed under-resourced and underutilized. You said dying, the Negro, the Negro dying, the Negro hope, hope the Negro. It's a government state-commissioned document. And unfortunately, we didn't follow the recommendations in that report a hundred years ago.

EWING: I'm absolutely talking about reparations. EWING: I'm overjoyed that I got to speak with you.

It seems so relevant to today. Available. And for many young people in our country, schools are a place where the best of who they are is silenced, where the best of who they are is disciplined and controlled and eradicated. That means that we have to talk about wealth hoarding. Let's get back to my interview with Eve L. Ewing, a poet and sociologist who teaches courses on race and education at the University of Chicago, where she's an assistant professor. Schools are the front line for so many other things - for assisting young people that are homeless, for assisting young people that are experiencing abuse and neglect, for helping parents find the resources that they need to get education or to get jobs, for basic health care, you know? Please enter manually:","bd_js_keep_typing_to_refine_search_results":"Keep typing to refine the search results","bd_js_top_categories":"Top Categories","bd_price_save":"Save {0}","bd_js_name_only_letters":"Sorry, full name can only contain letters","bd_js_show_more":"show more","bd_js_enter_valid_email_address":"Please enter a valid email address","bd_js_enter_address_manually":"Enter address manually","bd_js_more_categories":"More Categories","bd_js_continue_shopping":"Continue Shopping","bd_js_account_and_help":"Account & Help","bd_js_basket_checkout":"Basket / Checkout","bd_add_to_basket":"Add to basket","bd_js_enter_first_last_name":"Please enter a first and last name","bd_js_please_enter_your":"Please enter your"}, Paperback She says the systemic racism that plagued the U.S. then still exists. Sweet, sweet baby, don't make me let you go. EWING: Sure. And that was Richard J. Daley.

The teacher that you have learned to trust, these are really valuable and crucial and important social relationships that mean more to people than, you know, the percentage of their building that is filled, and that are really important in precarious social circumstances. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. But I think the basic sentiment is still there and undergirds a lot of the basic functioning of American society.  C$26.31, C$17.15 We have to talk about the accrual of privilege. Her book about Chicago schools is called "Ghosts In The Schoolyard: Racism And School Closings On Chicago's South Side." There were three days of protests. Of course, Richard J. Daley would grow up to become, arguably, the most powerful mayor and one of the most powerful politicians in all of American history who oversaw the Chicago of the 1960s, who famously issued a shoot-to-kill order in 1968 during protests at that period and who was the father of Richard M. Daley, who is the - who succeeded his father and became the longest-serving mayor of Chicago. But only when I was doing the research for my second book when I started diving into the kind of archival history of early Chicago, this text, "The Negro in Chicago," became a huge source. And I think that reparations can look a lot of different ways. So you know, I don't know what he expected from that moment or if it was something that wasn't rational and he was just overcome.
And so I wanted to be in conversation with these authors, and I also wanted to be in conversation with my neighbors who were murdered a hundred years ago on the streets where I walk. And so you know, you could say that a Chicago political dynasty, an American political dynasty is born in this moment of the riots. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information. (SOUNDBITE OF JOHN COLTRANE'S "OUT OF THIS WORLD"), GROSS: This is FRESH AIR, and if you're just joining us, my guest is Eve Ewing, a poet and sociologist who teaches courses on race and education at the University of Chicago, where she's an assistant professor. Accuracy and availability may vary. So yes, I think it's a next step. All I know is that he then dies. EWING: The broader context is that during the Great Migration, thousands and thousands of black people are coming North from the agricultural South, looking for work, trying to escape what was really a violent state and extrajudicial regime of punishment and oppression overseen by, you know, governments in the South as well as the Klan as well as just random lynch mobs.

I'm Terry Gross, and this is FRESH AIR.

You would give our children sand to eat. (SOUNDBITE OF AVISHAI COHEN SONG, "GBEDE TEMIN"), GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. So you have a poem written from the perspective of James Crawford, who is a black man who fired into the crowd of black and white officers who were refusing to do anything to stop the rock-throwing, the rock-throwing that forced Eugene Williams to drown. Swallow, swallow, dark. Sign up to our newsletter using your email. He is a black migrant living in Chicago.
It feels pretty unlikely that when all of his friends were out randomly roaming the streets that he was, like, I'm going to stay at home, if he had the level of participation that would make him then be president of the club a couple years later. - like, lots of Eastern European immigrants, lots of immigrants coming from other places. But it had these lines that, for me, were just so evocative and to me felt like little poems. Exodus and deliverance to a promised land? But he was somebody because I saw the whites of his eyes before he let go of the railroad tie. © 2020  Ewing is also a sociologist who teaches classes on race and education at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, where she's an assistant professor. The 1919 riots started after a 17-year-old black youth was swimming in Lake Michigan and swam into a part of the lake that was considered for whites only. And then, of course, the most obvious example is the presence of police in schools, which has become necessarily contentious in recent days, which, I think, is great and an important conversation. Her book of poems, "1919," is a collection of poems reacting to a report written in 1921 by a commission appointed to investigate the 1919 riots in Chicago and come up with recommendations to prevent a recurrence. What inspired you to write it as a jump-rope rhyme? And so you would think, like, if these schools were under-resourced and underrepresented, why would parents and children be so passionate about saving the schools? Her book about Chicago schools is called "Ghosts In The Schoolyard: Racism And School Closings On Chicago's South Side." But what many people are not talking about enough is that there's the other side of it, which is that if black people have been historically denied opportunities, jobs, resources, material wealth - if we've documented that, if we're now saying that that's not OK, that means that somebody else has to give something up (laughter). I'm very proud, as a Chicagoan, of the reparations ordinance that was passed here for the victims of police torture. We need to make sure that black people in Chicago have access to excellent schools and that they can get great teachers. And one class of people can rely on the police to terrorize them and cannot call upon them for safety, cannot call upon them for protection.

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