May 31, 2012

OURStory: Tulsa Race Riot (1921)

Today is the anniversary of the "deadliest mass shooting" or "deadliest shooting rampage" in our nation's history occurred on May 31, 1921 in the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Tulsa Race Riot, also known as the 1921 Race Riot, the Tulsa Race War, or the Greenwood Riot, was a large-scale civil disorder. During the 16 hours of rioting, over 800 people were admitted to local hospitals with injuries, an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire, and $1.8 million (nearly $17 million after adjustment for inflation) in property damage.

Our glorious Black Wall Street was destroyed in the carnage of that day.

39 people were officially reported killed, although most experts agree that the actual number of Black citizens killed during the riot to be around 300. You can read about it yourself here, here, or here.

We must never forget. I hope that supporters of the Electronic Village will ensure that OURstory isn't ignored or forgotten as others write HIS-story. National columnist Jim Clingman recently wrote about his experience with eight of the survivors of the Black Wall Street murders.

We ask you not allow the Tulsa Race War murders to be swept under the rug of distorted, revised, and repressed history. We must never forget, and we must not allow others to forget either.


Wax Poetic said...

During a visit to Tulsa, I had the opportunity to visit the Black Wall Street Memorial. This is a movie that needs to be made and a story that needs to be told much more often. Thanks Villager!

Vanessa said...

Thanks for sharing this story. It's too important to allow it to be swept under a rug.

Unknown said...

Shawn - I'm surprised that a movie hasn't been made about it already. Did you take any pictures during your Tulsa trip of the memorial?

Vanessa - I encourage you to remind your blog readers as well.

Martin Lindsey said...

A guys or some guys who grew up in Tulsa wrote a book about this years ago. If I run across it again I'd be happy to comment with the title at a later date to make your readers aware of it.

What's interesting is that this type of thing wasn't uncommon. Remember the movie Rosewood from a few years ago starring Ving Rhames? That was a true story that happened in Florida during or just after WWI.

I found out last summer at my family reunion that something similar happened at least once in a small town in Missouri where a large number of whites created a firing line and started shooting into the black side of town. They ran out all the blacks who weren't dead and stole their property. Today you wouldn't know that blacks had ever lived their. The brother who gave the presentation is leading a modern day effort to reclaim his family's property.

Unknown said...

Martin - You may have already done so ... but, if not, please consider sharing info about Black Wall Street with your blog readers. I would love to know the name of that Missouri town if you remember it later...