Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Camp Logan Riot of 1917

On what is now the sight of Memorial Park in Houston, as lovely a place as there is in Houston, nestled along Buffalo Bayou on about 2,000 acres stood Camp Logan, a US Army post built to guard the construction of Ellington AFB in 1917.

Black soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry were sent by the army to perform the necessary guard duty. These men were an excellent choice at the time, having earned a fine reputation from San Francisco to Manila, where they were treated according to their merit, and not by their skin. Once achieving a sense of pride and confidence, they were not willing to be degraded by Jim Crow and racial hatred they found in Houston.

Although they were welcomed warmly by the black and (to a certain extent) the white communites in town, there was still an element, (and still is) that embraced attitudes of bigotry and racial hatred. All the "whites only" institutions history has come to know were in full force and effect.

On August 23rd, a rumor that a soldier had been killed by police swept the camp, and under the leadership of Sargeant Vida Henry, more than a hundred soldiers marched up Washington Avenue shooting nearly everything in sight.

After killing an officer who tried to intervene, the rioters ended the melee. In all 26 people died including 7 police officers. Sgt. Henry committed suicide. Later in November, 13 soldiers were hanged at Fort Sam Houston.

History reflects well on the city of Houston's leaders and people who reacted in a measured way to the emergency and held back a potential race riot that obliterated the black community as seen in Tulsa a few years later.

Not much is written about this facinating story. On the verge of its 100th aniversary, I look forward to seeing more and better accounts of this event.


At 11:47 AM , Blogger Douglas said...

A Night of Violence: The Houston Riot of 1917 by Robert V. Haynes is the difinitive book on the mutiny. You can also try Garna Christian's book Black Soldiers in Jim Crow Texas. A total of 19 soldiers were hanged from 3 trials. Henry did not commit suicide. He died from a bayonet wound to the chest and a crushed skull. You can find the coroner's inquest at the Harris County Archives.

At 5:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No race in human history had ever owed another race integration rights. No race in human history EVER demanded to be integrated into another. Under the DMG Theorem, which all societies existed under prior to 1964, male groups (males racially, linguistically and religiously similar) had to make their living under within the confines of their own male group. The Negro male group in America is of an Arrested culture (a non-Occupational Ranking male group). This explains their supplication for integration "rights" into another male group (an Occupational Ranking male group).

People must understand there was no historical template on how to integrate one race INTO another. The white males in 1917 (members of the DMG) simply did not know how to react to this very mysterious people (the Negro) wanting, and in some cases back then, demanding, integration rights (which they usually did not receive).

The bottom line here is that white males (the DMG) was not doing anything morally wrong or even illegal in maintaining a separation policy with regard to the black race. It is how it always was. Further, most white people simply did not trust the temperament of the Negro.

This massacre by Negro soldiers was a cowardly and craven act against innocent and mostly unarmed DMG civilians. It was, in reality, a racial hate attack by blacks. Nothing more. It also scared the hell out of the military Brass, and confirmed the suspicions of many a white person who did not believe Negroes should be in the military wearing the same military uniforms as members of the DMG.

Don't use today's standard to judge people 92 years ago. Also, let's not forget that the Plessy Supreme Court decision was still very much in force.

After this massacre, the federal government should have given up all hope of attempting to force integration on the DMG through written laws. Blacks should have been given a Homeland ... so as they could do what nature required - and our creator demanded of them - and be masters of their own destiny.

At 10:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever posted the comment above is a disgusting piece of shit who I wish had been killed in the Riot of 1917.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home