East St. Louis, Ill., Committee Discusses Reparations For 1917 Massacre
Community organizations in the town announced plans on Saturday (July 1) to create a reparations committee with the council’s support to discuss the possibilities. The announcement came during an annual march to honor those killed more than a century ago by a white mob.
“This massacre has affected the economic advancement of our people,” Larita Rice-Barnes, an activist with Metro-East Organizing Coalition, told the more than 50 people attending the rally. “Houses, jobs, property that could have been passed down to this day, it’s no longer here. And it’s up to us to raise that awareness.”
Historians say perhaps hundreds of Black residents in the town, a suburb of St. Louis that sits just east across the Mississippi River, died between July 1 and July 3 in 1917 when a local company hired Black workers to replace whites who went on strike, according to local station KMOV. Memories of the massacre have faded over the last century.