In the early part of the 20th century, Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood black district was considered one of the richest black communities in America. However, in 1921 one of the worst atrocities in the United States occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In a section of the city called Black Wall Street, many men and women had found great wealth. Prosperous businesses, farmers, and oil tycoons had built the black community into one of the richest communities in the country, regardless of color. Money stayed in the community and continued to build a prosperous community.
Yet greed and jealousy by the surrounding community for the prosperous black community led to a level of violence few could imagine. Led by the KKK and local officials, mobs began to attack the prosperous Black Wall Street.
The mobs dropped bombs from the air and began burning and looting houses and businesses. In less than a day hundreds of black citizens were killed and over 600 thriving businesses were destroyed. Surviving witnesses said that many white families stood on the outskirts of the community and watched as the destruction unfolded.
For decades, media and state officials covered up the riots; and news headlines and official documentation could never be found. It wasn’t until 2001 that a report on the matter officially came out.
Written by Josh Yohe