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Black History Month | Black Wall Street, An American Race Riot

Black Wall Street, Race Riot

by Marquis Jones

If you don’t know you gone learn today; or you can “google it” a term society so freely uses today. I like to say, “pick up a book”.

Wiliams Theater Before | Tulsa Historical Society

1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, the description of “Black Wallstreet” was identified as Little Africa or a mini-Beverly Hills. The community provided a successful infrastructure for African Americans to thrive in.

It was reported that the dollar circulated 36 to 100 times before it left the community. Sometimes staying within the community for an entire yr; in today’s black community it takes about 30 minutes.



June 1, 1921 this affluent African American community was bombed from air and burned to the ground by mobs of whites. In just 12 hours the Ku Klux Klan, along with ranking officials and other white sympathizers would instruct to what some consider the

lack Wall Street, Race Riot

“Black Holocaust”. By the middle of that bloody June 1st day,

Martial law was declared, the National Guard was brought in to seize the havoc. But by the time they would arrive the only thing left were ashes, bodies and neighborhoods still on fire… “6,000 African American men were rounded up by troops and released only after being vouched for-by a white person, or employer. The rest were jailed”… Even after this horrific event occurred, and the dead was buried. Ordinances were passed so African Americans could not rebuild on that land or even in that district. In today’s world an estimated 30 million dollars in property damage; and no reparations have been agreed upon.

What caused all of this ?

Rumor has it, a young black man was accused of raping a young white female but in actuality an argument spewed between a white woman and a black man who were dating.

Race Riot | Tulsa Historical Society

Now we all know in the 1920’s that black and white dating was forbidden. Similar to Carolyn Bryant lying to authorities which lead to the horrific death of Emmett Till. In this instance one white women’s false accusations led to the burning of 21 Churches, 30 grocery stores, a hospital, a bank, a half dozen private airplanes, 21 restaurants, two movie theaters, and even a bus system. An estimated 300 African Americans died, 8000 were left homeless and over 600 successful business were destroyed.

Wiliams Theater After | Tulsa Historical Society

Today this remains to be the largest massacre of African American citizens in the history of the United States. Oh and lets not forget the white women who said she was raped. Yea, she lied and no charges were filed against her. I guess somethings never change in good ole’ America!




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