Harvey Clark and his family were excited for their new lives “up North.” They were blessed to find a spacious apartment in a good neighborhood near Chicago. But their luck quickly ran out.
Once the white tenants living in their apartment building found out the Clark family was Black, an angry white mob of over 4,000 white people stopped the Clarks’ moving van and began to threaten the small family! And that was just the beginning.
The police showed up – and JOINED the crowd! Soon, white terrorists firebombed the building. And when firefighters showed up to stop the quickly spreading flames, white residents hurled stones at them, trying to stop them from putting out the fires.
What happened to the Clarks?
After all was said and done, the Clarks decided to seek justice. The rioting lasted over two days, and while 118 people were arrested, none were indicted.
In the end, the Clarks survived. And with the help of the NAACP, they brought national attention to the myth that racism only exists in the South.
As the Clark family quickly learned, prejudice and anti-Black sentiment go beyond geographical boundaries or political leanings. Regardless of how liberal white people may claim to be outside the South, the truth is that anti-Black racism has been a persistent phenomenon across the country.