Racial Violence in the United States Since 1660

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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 BlackPast.org. They range from revolts of the enslaved to more recent urban uprisings such as the Rodney King Riot in Los Angeles in 1992. This page does not cover violence affecting a single individual such as lynchings or police shootings. Please look for those incidents elsewhere on the website. 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@blackpast.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

Christina (Pennsylvania) Riot, 1851
Cincinnati Riots, 1829
Cincinnati Race Riots, 1836
The Pennsylvania Hall Fire, 1838

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
Jackson State Killings, 1970

Related Pages

Black Lives Matter
Lynchings in the United States Since 1865
Race, Crime, and Incarceration in the United States