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Houston Matters

Reflecting On The Beaumont Race Riot Of 1943

Houston Matters looks back at the event and considers its legacy today.

The front page of the Beaumont Enterprise newspaper after the race riot there of 1943.


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In June of 1943, a race riot erupted in Beaumont.

Racial tensions had been building for a while. Then, when a white woman accused a black man of raping her, a mob of white shipyard workers and bystanders marched toward City Hall and began to assault black citizens, looting and burning black stores and restaurants.

In all, more than 200 people were arrested, 50 were injured, two were killed, and a third died of his injuries months later.

In the audio above, Houston Matters looks back at the event and considers its legacy today with the help of Dr. Gene Preuss, a history professor at UH-Downtown.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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