Nearly 100 years before Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, one of the largest race riots in history broke out just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis. The July 1917 riot in East St. Louis, Illinois, turned into a massacre, leaving 39 Black people dead, according to official records. Historians estimate that hundreds more likely died.
At the time of the massacre, Dhati Kennedy’s father was living in East St. Louis. The PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor spoke with Kennedy about his family’s experience, living through and surviving what they call a race war.
“We never saw him as traumatized or with PTSD,” Kennedy said about his father. “Those are things we didn’t understand at the time. I’m sure he was.”
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