What has gone down in history as the Peekskill Riot was an attack in 1949 by a horde of white supremacists on African-Americans attending a Civil Rights benefit concert in Peekskill, Westchester County, NY. The show, scheduled for August 27th, was headlined by bass-baritone Paul Robeson, the left-wing campaigner and advocate of racial equality.
Just before the singer’s arrival in Peekskill, concertgoers were brutally attacked by some three hundred troublemakers, many of them carrying baseball bats. As the local police did not intervene, thirteen people were wounded in the mayhem. The concert was cancelled and postponed until September 4th. With local labor unions providing security, the event proceeded that night before an audience of 20,000 people. Robeson was joined on stage by folk singers Pete Seeger, Hope Foye and others. [Read more…] about Harlem’s ‘French’ Hero: The Multi-Talented Eugene Bullard