America enters World War I in April. In July five thousand blacks march down Fifth Avenue in New York to protest a race riot by a white mob in East St. Louis. They carry a banner that reads, "Mr. President, Why Not Make America Safe for Democracy?"

In Buchanan v. Warley, 245 U.S. 60 (1917), the Supreme Court strikes down a Louisville ordinance that prohibits black persons from residing on a block in which a majority of houses are occupied by whites and vice versa. Buchanan is one of the few cases during this period that does not follow the logic of Plessy v. Ferguson.