The Tulsa Race Riot, 1921

In the early 20th century, Tulsa was home to the “Black Wall Street”, one of the most prosperous African American communities in the United States. A thriving African-American enclave with their own shops, cinemas, clubs, churches, newspapers and hospitals. On the territory of the state Black residents even had their own oil wells. Tulsa was a place of race riot, one of the worst acts of racial violence and unrest.

The Tulsa Race Riot

The reason for the confrontation served as “incident in the elevator”: the local newspaper accused black shoeshine Dick Rowland in the attack on the white 17-year-old elevator operator Sarah Page. Although the details have remained buried in history, it is believed that, in fact, young people were familiar and it was some petty quarrel.

The Tulsa Race Riot

Sixteen hours of riots on May 31 and June 1, 1921, were completed only when the National Guard have been introduced. Official government later claimed that 23 black and 16 white people were killed, but according to the Red Cross, 300 people, mostly black population, died. More than 800 people admitted to local hospitals with injuries, and about 10 000 people left homeless.

The Tulsa Race Riot The Tulsa Race Riot

Burned about 200 shops and workshops, 1256 houses (215 were simply robbed), schools, churches and hospitals.

The Tulsa Race Riot The Tulsa Race Riot