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Tulsa race riot - The Greatest Race Riot America Forgot !

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Tulsa race riot
TulsaRaceRiot-1921.png
Buildings burning during the Tulsa race riot
Location Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Coordinates 36°09′34″N 95°59′11″WCoordinates36°09′34″N 95°59′11″W
Date May 31 – June 1, 1921
Weapons Guns, incendiary devices, explosives
Deaths 39 officially (1921)
300 according to Red Cross then and Oklahoma Commission on Tulsa Riot Final Report (2001)[1]
Non-fatal injuries
Over 800
Perpetrators White mob and the police[1]

The Tulsa race riot, or Tulsa race riot of 1921, occurred between May 31 and June 1, 1921, when a white mob started attacking residents and businesses of the African-American community of Greenwood in TulsaOklahoma,[1] in what is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the history of the United States.[2] The attack, carried out on the ground and by air, destroyed more than 35 blocks of the district, at the time the wealthiest black community in the nation. More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals and more than 6,000 black residents were arrested and detained, many for several days.[3] The Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics officially recorded 39 dead, but the American Red Cross estimated 300.

The riot began over a Memorial Day weekend after a young black man was accused of raping a young white female elevator operator at a commercial building. After he was taken into custody, rumors raced through the black community that he was at risk of being lynched. A group of armed African-American men rushed to the police station, to prevent a lynching, where the young suspect was held and a white crowd had gathered. A confrontation developed between blacks and whites; shots were fired, and some whites and blacks were killed. As this news spread throughout the city, mob violence exploded. Thousands of whites rampaged through the black community that night and the next day, killing men and women, burning and looting stores and homes. About 10,000 black people were left homeless, and property damage amounted to more than $1.5 million in real estate and $750,000 in personal property ($31 million in 2018). Some black people claimed that policemen had joined the mob; others said that National Guardsmen fired a machine gun into the black community and a plane dropped sticks of dynamite.[4] In an eyewitness account discovered in 2015, Greenwood attorney Buck Colbert Franklin described watching a dozen or more planes, which had been dispatched by the city police force, drop burning balls of turpentine on Greenwood's rooftops.[5]

Many survivors left Tulsa. Both black and white residents who stayed in the city were silent for decades about the terror, violence, and losses of this event. The riot was largely omitted from local and state, as well as national, histories: "The Tulsa race riot of 1921 was rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private. Blacks and whites alike grew into middle age unaware of what had taken place."[6]

With the number of survivors declining, in 1996, the 75th anniversary of the riot, a bi-partisan group in the state legislature authorized formation of the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. Members were appointed to investigate events, interview survivors, hear testimony from the public, and prepare a report of events. There was an effort toward public education about these events through the process. The Commission's final report, published in 2001, said that the city had conspired with the white mob against the Tulsa black community; it recommended a program of reparations to survivors and their descendants.[1] The state passed legislation to establish some scholarships for descendants of survivors, encourage economic development of Greenwood, and develop a memorial park in Tulsa to the riot victims. The park was dedicated in 2010.

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