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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Hidden History: The Whitewashing of the 1917 East St. Louis Race Riot in the Collective Consciousness of the Greater St. Louis Metro Region
by Bachelier, Samanthe, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2017, 82; 10275593
Abstract (Summary)

The collective memories of a region, community, or nation are shaped by an array of factors that contribute to a shared understanding of a significant event or time in the past. One such negative event that is often ignored or forgotten is the East St. Louis Race Riot that occurred on July 2, 1917. This event was white-washed and forgotten in local, white-owned media outlets, which is evident in newspaper coverage of the riot during the immediate aftermath. In analyzing the coverage of the newspapers, it is crucial to recognize the process of whitewashing that is occurring as the event is being discussed locally. This thesis argues that although the initial press coverage of several St. Louis area papers discussed the riot in detail, there was a white bias from the white editors who aided local and national investigators in whitewashing the event. Contrary to the dominant narratives presented by the white-controlled media, African-American media outlets and authors situated the East St. Louis riot in the context of a national struggle for freedom from oppression as millions of African Americans fled North in hope of escaping Jim Crow customs and violence in the South. The construction of segregated narratives led to the formation of segregated memories of the event in the Metro East region.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jack, Bryan
Commitee: Harris, Jessica, Manuel, Jeffrey
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Historical Studies
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, American history
Keywords: Collective memory, East st. louis riot, Segregated narratives
Publication Number: 10275593
ISBN: 978-0-355-05146-9
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