One of the major challenges of this project is deciding how far to delve into the facts of each riot.
The random number generator did me a favor with the first couple of riots. It’s just a bigger challenge to find information about some of these riots than it is to find information about others. Researching the Opelousos riot required me to read somebody’s masters thesis.
Currently, however, I am researching a more recent riot. There is so much information that I could take advantage of in this case.
The whole point of this project is to understand the conditions and the specific events that lead up to mass racial violence.
The other side of it, though, is that I need this project to be one that has a light at the end of the tunnel. Which brings me back to the question of how much research should I do? Where do I draw the line?
Already I have made a couple of Interlibrary Loan requests to get materials. I’ve solicited a special library for a piece of material. I’ve been making liberal use of the New York Times Historical Database. This weekend I realized that I could actually see the local newspapers that covered the riot that I’m researching. I can’t find it for the day after the riot, but I can for the several days following.
Many of these events could occupy months or even years of study. But, that is not the point of this project.
This question, of how far to dig in, I suspect will be a primary one here in the beginning of this pursuit.
In the meanwhile, I’ll resume reading The Miami Riot of 1980.