Friday, September 30, 2022
On Sept. 30, 1919 Black farmers met in Elaine, Arkansas with Robert L. Hill to establish the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America to fight for better pay and higher cotton prices. A white mob shot at them, and the farmers returned fire in self-defense. News of the confrontation spread and a massacre ensued, leaving more than 100 (estimates up to 800) African Americans dead, 67 indicted for inciting violence, and 12 Black sharecroppers (the Elaine 12) sentenced to death.
Not only were African Americans massacred, they were also blamed for the event and charged with murder.
- Zinn Education Project article Sept. 30, 1919: Elaine Massacre
- New York Post Dark History video (graphic content warning) Elaine Massacre: The bloodiest racial conflict in U.S. history