Philadelphia Gripped by a Race Riot


Philadelphia Gripped by a Race Riot


Afro-Americans, Philadelphia, G. Edward Dickerson, R.R. Wright, Chris J. Perry, P.P. Samuel, T.D. Adkins, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church


This letter to the editor by T.D. Adkins, pastor of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, praised the Tribune's coverage of the Philadelphia Race Riot of 1918. He preached for a more peaceful Philadelphia and society in general between the races.


T.D. Adkins


Philadelphia Tribune


WCU, HIS 601/HON 452 Great Migration and Digital Storytelling, Fall 2014


August 10, 1918


John E. Smith III, Erica Knorr


Used by permission of the Philadelphia Tribune Company, Inc. All rights reserved. The Philadelphia Tribune, with 130 years of continuous publication, is the oldest newspaper in the United States serving the African-American community.






To the Editor of the Tribune:
     Kindly grant me the space through the colunms of your paper to thank you for the stand and position you took editorially concerning the recent riot in our city. May I ask, what shall we do? This is the great question which presses hard for an answer. Political demagogues may scream themselves hoarse trying to convince the Afro-Americans of this city to be quiet while passing through such a crucial test; they had just as well try to stop the sun in his journey. We know that racial antagonism makes the task a herculean one, the good and bad element of society, in each and all localities in this city, are pitted against each other with such rapidly increasing hate and determination that the statesman with half an eye may see that the irrepressible conflict is on. In all the long catalogue of crime, which reach from the earth to the bottomless pit, there is none, nor all put together, which are so destructive to human happiness as this one felonious practice of race riots. As a city we stand reproached today, not only at home, but across the waters, as we gazed upon the scene of blod, and looked upon the blackjacks, and the scalping knife, and think of the infamous hoodlums who so cruelly slaughtered and battered the homes of our wives and children, our indignation is simply unutterable. But Oh, the horror of horrors! not the peaceful shades of night, but all the terrors of death have gathered about those homes.
     Afro-Americans of this city are tired of legalized murder, we are sick at seeing death carried on by acts of legislation, we are heart-sick at seeing men killed with law, homes ruined, children robbed of comfort, love and affection by law, society outraged, morals under-minded by the law. Only let the spirit--the Vesuvius spirit--burst forth its avalanche of long pent up indignation and unfair deal, and this infernal business will be wiped out, and the city, like an arm with banners, will be wiped outobutw with banners, will take up its triumphal march with the song of its bard like that of the nightingale, "Will preach the inaugural of the better day coming when the people will be protected in their God-given rights of life, liberty and property.
   Let us proceed to organize at once, and raise al the money we can. Let me thank G. Edward Dickerson Esp., Dr. R. R. Wright, Editor Chris J. Perry, Dr. P. P. Samuel, Dr. J. W. Eason and all others who have stood and who are standing uncompromisingly for ractial rights. I am,
Sincerely yours,
T.D. Adkins, A. M., D. D.,
Pastor Mt. Carmel Baptist Church
58th and Race Streets, Philadelphia, Pa.

Original Format



Philadelphia Race Riot.pdf


T.D. Adkins, “Philadelphia Gripped by a Race Riot,” Goin' North, accessed May 20, 2024,