Monday, April 19, 2010

1920's Tulsa Race Riot

The Tulsa Race Riot started May, 31, 1921 due to a incident the day before. Dick Rowland and African American male went to the Drexel Building and loaded a elevator that was being operated by a young Sarah Page at the time. All of a sudden a scream was heard and Rowland nervously ran from the building. He was accused of sexually assaulting Page. Another story has it that Rowland stepped on Page's foot, putting her off balance. Rowland reached out to help her and Page screamed in horror. The main place where The Tulsa Race Riot took place was Greenwood Avenue. Greenwood Avenue a busy street in the city of Tulsa was brought down during the riot. Tulsa was a State of the Art city with a mere one hundred thousand in population. A good portion of the cities African Americans resided in the District of Greenwood. A well known neighborhood that takes ownage of a couple newspapers, few churches, a branch of libraries and many black owned businesses. Greenwood today plays host to the Tulsa Drillers and ONEOK Field a modern day baseball stadium. In June of 1921, big clouds of smoke hazed over the northern regions of Tulsa. The last stand off of the conflict took place later that morning at the Standpipe Hill. As the Tulsa Tribune said, the National Guard took use of two machine guns and fired into the area. Many blacks surrendered and were disarmed. Most were taken to the Convention Hall, some to McNulty Baseball Park, others to the Fairgrounds and to flying fields. Later survivors said that planes had taken part in the destruction of the Greenwood City. In 1927, The TRRC also known as the Tulsa Race Riot Commission took place to do further investigations on the Tulsa Race Riot and what actually happened. Dr. Bob L. Blackburn was the Head of the Commission. The TRRC had a good thirteen members from different parts of the state. On November 22, 1999 in the Frances Campbell City Commission Chamber a meeting was held. The members discussed the reports of the historical findings and the Archaeological investigations. They also discussed the proposal for reparations. Today The Tulsa Race Riot of 1920 is known to be one of the worst racial violent acts in American history. The Tulsa Race Riot continues to haunt Oklahomans today. Over one thousand homes and businesses were destroyed in the process of this riot.

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