• This summer became known as the red summer, race riots occurred in twenty-five cities across the country. Washington, DC was one of those cities.

  • Claude McKay published a powerful Renaissance note with his famous sonnet “If We Must Die” in the Liberator. In responding to the red summer, this was his poetic call for courage. During the Second World War, Winston Churchill read this poem on the BBC to encourage England to withstand the bombing raids of Germany.

  • Eugene O’Neill wrote The Emperor Jones, in which at different times both Charles Gilpin and Paul Robeson played the title role.

  • T. Montgomery Gregory founded the Howard Players, a college theatre company at Howard University.

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The Black Renaissance in Washington, D.C., 1920-1930s
http://www.dclibrary.org/blkren/ | last updated June 20, 2003