A Short Note On Oklahoma Race Riots And The Black Wall Street

928 WordsDec 3, 20154 Pages
Tu Tulsa Race Riots On May 31-June 1, 1921, a series of actions occurred in Greenwood, a small district in the northern parts of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which are now called the Tulsa race Riots. Being a segregated city like the rest of Oklahoma, many of Tulsa’s African American citizens resided in Greenwood- an area composed of predominately African American communities and business locations. The discovery of oil is the number one reason why Tulsa’s economy flourished. There was an abundance of wealthy African Americans due to of this discovery. Because of the affluence and success within the African American community going on in this one particular area, it became known as the Black Wall Street. The whole chain of events began on May 30, 1921 when Dick Rowland, a young black man, allegedly assaulted a white elevator operator. Rowland was arrested the next day. However, outside the courthouse a group of raging whites gathered to attempt to lynch Rowland while a group of African Americans were protecting him to prevent the hanging. With the signal of one unintentional gunshot, many others rang out leaving some from both groups dead. With word getting around town of the riot, many angered whites stormed into the Greenwood District. Residencies were set on fire and many businesses were looted and burned to the ground. Planes also flew by dropping bombs in the area. With law enforcement on the whites’ side, the officers were also a part of the riot. The National Guard was

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