The Tulsa Race Riot Of 1921

1400 Words Apr 23rd, 2015 6 Pages
The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 was the culmination of racial tensions both endemic in American society as a whole in the period, and certain tensions peculiar to Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1921, Greenwood and its African American population became the outlet for these often violent tensions seething among Tulsa’s white population. The following paper seeks to shed some further understanding on what motivated and pushed the whites of Tulsa, Oklahoma to such a violent, extreme reaction during the riot.
To answer the question, ‘Why were the whites so mean?’ it is necessary to understand the pre-existing conditions that existed in Tulsa, Oklahoma before the actual riot took place in 1921.
Pre-existing racism in Tulsa was the foundation on which all the other causes of the riot were built upon. Wide-spread segregation was still common in America at that time and it was accepted by many in the North and South that whites were inherently superior to blacks. These views were particularly strong in the South, where emancipated blacks were seen as a threat and scourge to white Southern culture, a culture which was utterly dominated by whites and where blacks were oppressed with no hope of equal protection under the law, equal representation, etc. This was also the case in Tulsa in the early 1900s. Blacks were segregated against by the white residents and as a consequence formed their own community, called Greenwood, on the north side of the Frisco Railroad tracks, which was heralded by…
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