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(61,369 posts)
Mon May 31, 2021, 05:27 PM May 2021

What the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Destroyed

Perhaps no other collection of businesses tells the story of Greenwood and Black entrepreneurship better than the 100 block of Greenwood Avenue, rising near the southern tip of the neighborhood. This marquee block was the pulse of the Black business community.

More than 70 businesses operated in mostly one-, two- and three-story red brick buildings clustered along the block. All but a couple were owned by Black entrepreneurs.

In this stretch alone, there were four hotels, two newspapers, eight doctors, seven barbers, nine restaurants and a half-dozen professional offices of real estate agents, dentists and lawyers. A cabaret and a cigar shop were on the block, too.

You could shop for groceries, play pool, take in a theater show, eat dinner or get your hair styled — without ever leaving the block.

“My grandfather often talked about how you could enjoy a full life in Greenwood, that everything you needed or wanted was in Greenwood. You never had to go anywhere,” said Star Williams, 40, the granddaughter of Otis Grandville Clark, who was 18 during the massacre. “He talked about seeing Black success and how his sense of identity and pride came from Greenwood.”

The businesses on Greenwood Avenue were owned by people who were among Tulsa’s most prominent Black citizens.


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(89,370 posts)
1. It affects future generations and prevented community wealth
Mon May 31, 2021, 05:29 PM
May 2021

which is a huge part of helping those who face troubles before things get worse.


(61,369 posts)
2. it's a microcosm
Mon May 31, 2021, 05:30 PM
May 2021

of the black-owned wealth that was stolen or destroyed throughout the Jim Crow era.


(45,806 posts)
3. I'm ashamed to admit I never knew of that happening. I grew up in the north East & it sure was not
Mon May 31, 2021, 06:41 PM
May 2021

in any of my history classes. I'm going to watch it on TV tonight. I hope by airing it, othyer Whites will recognize just how horrible we have always treated the black population for a very long time.


(54,499 posts)
4. Tulsa is just the most infamouse one. There were dozens of massacres of Black people...
Mon May 31, 2021, 06:56 PM
May 2021

back then, starting as early as the Reconstruction period and continuing after the 1921 Tulsa killings.


So many lives were lost, and property/wealth destroyed leaving nothing to be passed on to children and grandchildren...with no restitution ever. Par for the course for a nation that has swept all these massacres under the rug...not to mention the hundreds of years of stolen/uncompensated labor of enslavement. And some have the nerve to wonder why and crticize/blame Black families for having only a tenth of household wealth to that of white families.

Much is owed.

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