People Places Events In History Terms Organizations
Home Invites Members Groups Events Careers Videos News Photos Blogs Polls Forums Chat
Home > Blogs > Post Content

Never forget,,,,The Destruction of Black Wall Street (2151 hits)

Greenwood, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa, was the type of community that African Americans are still, today, attempting to reclaim and rebuild. It was modern, majestic, sophisticated and unapologetically Black. Tragically, it was also the site of one of the bloodiest and most horrendous race riots (and acts of terrorism) that the United States has ever experienced.
Today marks ninety-two years since as many as 300 African Americans lost their lives and more than 9,000 were left homeless when the small town was attacked, looted and literally burned to the ground beginning in 1921. It’s impossible, however, to realize what was lost in Greenwood, which was affectionately known as "Black Wall Street."
The Greenwood community seems almost imagined when we examine it through a historical lens. The oil booms of the early 1900’s had many moving to Tulsa for a shot at quick economic gains and high life, and African Americans hoped to prosper from the new industry as well. Tulsa, like many cities and towns throughout the US, was hostilely segregated, with African Americans settling into the northern region of the city. As we often saw before integration, Blacks in the area created entrepreneurial opportunities for themselves, which housed an impressive business center that included banks, hotels, cafes, clothiers, movie theaters, and contemporary homes. Greenwood residents enjoyed many luxuries that their White neighbors did not, including indoor plumbing and a remarkable school system that superiorly educated Black children.
It was pure envy, and a vow to put progressive, high achieving African Americans in their place that would cause the demise of the Black Mecca many called “Little Africa”, and its destruction began the way much terrorism, violence and dispossession against African Americans did during that era. A young White woman accused a young Black man of attempted s*xual assault, which gave local mobs and White men acting as police just cause to invade the unsuspecting community. On the malevolent and horrifying attack, Linda Christenson writes the following:
"The term “race riot” does not adequately describe the events of May 31—June 1, 1921 in Greenwood... In fact, the term itself implies that both blacks and whites might be equally to blame for the lawlessness and violence. The historical record documents a sustained and murderous assault on black lives and property. This assault was met by a brave but unsuccessful armed defense of their community by some black World War I veterans and others.
During the night and day of the riot, deputized whites killed more than 300 African Americans. They looted and burned to the ground 40 square blocks of 1,265 African American homes, including hospitals, schools, and churches, and destroyed 150 businesses. White deputies and members of the National Guard arrested and detained 6,000 black Tulsans who were released only upon being vouched for by a white employer or other white citizen. Nine thousand African Americans were left homeless and lived in tents well into the winter of 1921."
Recently, the mother of a Palestian activist friend of mine asked me why African Americans don’t fight harder for reparations. It was a difficult question to answer, but my most immediate response centered on the historical erasure of communities like Greenwood and the state-sponsored violence against African Americans that created its expiry. Even after slavery was abolished, any advancements towards the American dream, that Blacks paid most dearly to establish, was met with revulsion and terror, often from those whose legal obligation was to serve and protect. For that a debt is surely owed. Further, when we consider the deaths of those Black Tulsans and the inevitable property loss that followed, we again see one example of many that proves how wealth inequities and disparities became a part of the substance of this nation- inequities and disparities that must be considered before we go blaming Black youth for the catastrophes this nation has endorsed.
And as we consider what has become the new face of terror, we should never forget that Greenwood was bombed from the sky by White local and national law enforcement organizations.
To learn more about the attack on "Black Wall Street," check out Scott Ellsworth’s account here. Never forget.
Josie Pickens is a cultural critic and educator. Follow her musings on twitter: @jonubian


Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/black-history/the-destruction-of-black-wall-street-405#ixzz2kW5yY9fg
Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on Facebook
Posted By: DAVID JOHNSON
Wednesday, November 13th 2013 at 5:27AM
You can also click here to view all posts by this author...

Report obscenity | post comment
Share |
Please Login To Post Comments...
Email:
Password:

 
More From This Author
Learn what they called a slave
Open 24 -7 scholarship information
Free books
Learn your history
You must learn
JUL 6 The Name Yahweh in Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts
http://www.dhwtyslearningcenter.com/
http://www.dhwtyslearningcenter.com/
Forward This Blog Entry!
Blogs Home
Employer Showcase
>> more | add
Latest Jobs
SURG TECH (OR)-CERT with Premier Health in Dayton, OH.
SURGERY TECH - SC with Premier Health in Dayton, OH.
Web Developer with Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.
ASSISTANT MANAGER OF FACILITIES with Boston University Department of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance in Boston, MA.
Assistant Track & Field Coach with University of Iowa-Athletics in Iowa City, IA.
>> more | add
Latest Member Activity
gregory boulware, esq. just commented on a blog entitled '~ "when was the last time you were poisoned?" ~'. 01:46PM
gregory boulware, esq. just commented on a blog entitled 'redemption from the matrix, free from government imposed ignorance becoming & operating as a secured '. 04:33PM
gregory boulware, esq. just posted a blog entitled '~ "the jihad vs. the crusade" ~'. 03:51PM
tanisha everage just became a new member. 10:31AM
tazadaq shaah just posted a blog entitled 'redemption from the matrix, free from government imposed ignorance becoming & operating as a secured '. 02:41PM
channin bassett just edited his profile. 08:47PM
channin bassett just became a new member. 08:45PM
tazadaq shaah just posted a blog entitled 'why you are a corporate slave, debtor, legal fiction iuic :for the israelites and true believer '. 02:46PM
gregory boulware, esq. just posted a blog entitled '~ 'the proclamation' ~'. 01:37PM
tazadaq shaah just posted a blog entitled 'edification for iuic sovereignty misinformation stultifying creditors status correction '. 08:41AM
scratchylus s just posted a blog entitled 'sweet child precious little child official video starring scratchylus,empress reggae, & kiddus i'. 01:58AM
scratchylus s just became a new member. 01:49AM
>> more | invite friends