How can we avoid repeating our past mistakes? One of the best ways is to understand what happened and why it happened so we can avoid doing the same thing in the future. One such event in Georgia's past was the race riot of 1906. As economic conditions worsened after the Civil War, poor whites joined blacks moving to Atlanta where both groups competed for work. In mid-September, a riot started in Atlanta when violent mobs of whites began randomly attacking black men, beating and killing them.