Tulsa Race Riots

The Tulsa Race Riot was one of the worst race riots in Ameircan history. During a 14 hour period on May 31 through June 1, 1921, 3,000 African Americans were killed. More than 1,000 black owned homes and businesses were destroyed by Ku Klux Klan members. The KKK destroyed 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores, 2 movie theaters, a hospital, a bank, a half a dozen private airplanes and a bus system.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, was home to many prominent black business people. It’s nicknames were “Black Wall Street” or “Little Africa”, because of it being the wealthiest black communty in the United States. This community proved that African Americans could create a successful framework. The goal of the community was to educate every child. A doctor who lived in Little Africa was Dr. Berry, who averaged $500 a day, and was the owner of the bus system.

About 40 blocks were destroyed. Truckloads of whites set fires and shot blacks on sight. Survivors were rounded up and turned into the National Guard. Homeless people spent the next year in silence and living in tents in the ruins of the neighborhood. The grand jury at the time blamed the black community for the riot. Only a single block remained of all of the homes and businesses that made the area known as Black Wall Street. No one was compensated for lost property. Soon after the riot, the entire disaster was forgotten about.