Black History Month: Facts #3

There are many people, places, and accomplishments to celebrate for BHM. However, there were many people, places, and incidents that involved racism and violence (on us). One of those was the Tulsa Massacre of 1921: The Burning of ‘Black Wall Street’.

The short version: the district of Greenwood, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was one of the most affluent areas in the country… and it was predominately Black, built up by Blacks, for Blacks. An accusation of sexual assault by a Black teenager, on a White teenage girl, brought over 1,500 white people to the Sheriff, demanding he turn over the black teenager. About 75 black showed up to defend him and the Sheriff. The Sheriff refused to turn him over; the white mob attacked, running off the black protectors. They then burned hundreds of homes and businesses and killed any black person they could find. 300 people died, over 10,000 were left homeless, 40 blocks were destroyed… and the U.S. Government did their best to sweep the incident under the rug (do you remember reading about it in history books? Seeing it on T.V. before 2015?).

Below are 2 good links: the History Channel’s report on the pre-riot Greenwood, and the Washington Post’s story on how Greenwood is still trying to find an identity, nearly 100 years later.

Washington Post

History.com

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