chapter  5
MAKING THE ITALIAN OTHER
Blacks,Whites, and the Inbetween in the 1895 Spring Valley, Illinois, Race Riot
WithCAROLINE WALDRON MERITHEW
Pages 19

In August 1895, African American newspapers across the United States focused their readers' attention on Spring Valley, Illinois, a small coal-mining town one hundred miles southwest of Chicago. On August 5, a mob of Spring Valley's new immigrants (Italians, Poles, Germans, French, Lithuanians, and members of other ethnic groups) attacked the African American community. The rioters ransacked homes; assaulted men, women, and children; and fired shots at residents who fled in fear.