The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot: Buried in History

Jul 2016
Here's another one brought home by the kid. Thankfully, we're finally opening our eyes to the horrible actions of racists in this country.

During the Tulsa Race Riot, which occurred over 18 hours on May 31-June 1, 1921, a white mob attacked residents, homes and businesses in the predominantly black Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event remains one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history, and one of the least-known: News reports were largely squelched, despite the fact that hundreds of people were killed and thousands left homeless.

In much of the country, the years following World War I saw a spike in racial tensions, including the resurgence of the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan, numerous lynchings and other acts of racially motivated violence, as well as efforts by African Americans to prevent such attacks on their communities.

By 1921, fueled by oil money, Tulsa was a growing, prosperous city with a population of more than 100,000 people. But crime rates were high, and vigilante justice wasn’t uncommon: In August 1920, a white mob took a white teenager accused of murdering a taxi driver from his jail cell at the courthouse and lynched him; newspaper reports claimed the police did little to prevent the lynching.

Tulsa was also a highly segregated city: Most of the city’s 10,000 black residents lived in a neighborhood called Greenwood, which included a thriving business district sometimes referred to as the Black Wall Street.


Similar Discussions