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Events planned to mark 100th anniversary of 1919 race riots

Readings, a bike tour and a beach party are among the ways the riots will be remembered.

 A mob during the 1919 race riots in Chicago.
A mob during the 1919 race riots in Chicago.
Chicago History Museum/The Jun Fujita negatives collection/Distributed by the Associated Press

A series of events are planned to mark the 100th anniversary of Chicago’s race riots. Except as noted, all events are free.

Saturday’s events include:

• 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m: Bike tour of Bronzeville sites relevant to the riots; organized by the University of Chicago’s Center for Youth Violence Prevention. Meet at CTA Green Line stop at 35th Street; tour ends at 29th Street and the lakefront.

• 10 a.m. to noon: Chicago Race Riots Commemorative Project at Illinois Institute of Technology, 3201 S. State St. Keynote speaker is photographer/author Lee Bey. Free admission but register online.

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Walking tour of riot locations, organized by Winter Blues film group. Meet at 3500 S. King Drive. Guided by author Cameron McWhirter and filmmaker Barbara Allen. Cost: $20.

• 12 p.m to 4 p.m. Washington Square Park, 901 N. Clark St. Readings from Carl Sandburg’s reporting on the riots and from the Chicago Commission on Race Relations’ 1922 report. Author and WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore will speak. Discussion led by Charles Whitaker, dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Event organized by the Newberry Library.

Several events will be at 31st Street beach, 3100 S. Lake Shore Dr.:

• 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Families who have lost loved ones to gun violence send roses on small boats into the lake. Organized by GoodKidsMadCity.

• 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Dancers and other artists. Archived material from riots displayed by Chicago History Museum.

• 4:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.: 100 participants go into the water on flotation devices, then cross an imaginary line — the flashpoint for the 1919 riots.

• 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.: A D.J. and other performers at GoodKidsMadCity’s “Peace Beach” party.

Also, on Sunday at 2 p.m., Claire Hartfield will read from her book, “A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919,” at Smith Village Community Hall, 2320 W. 113th Pl. The event, organized by the Ridge Historical Society, is $5 for historical society members and $10 for non-members.