Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Memory Hole History: Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 31, 1921

The deadliest 'race riot' in American history didn't occur in Detroit or Los Angeles and wasn't even started by 'Negroes.' This is the history that you weren't taught in your favorite government school.

Brought to you by TheRoot.com
J.B. Stradford, the son of a freed Kentucky slave, rose to prominence in Oklahoma during the early 1900s as one of the key developers of the all-black Tulsa enclave Greenwood. A lawyer and businessman, Stradford owned the 65-room hotel that sat right in the heart of the thriving community that would later become known as "the Black Wall Street."

But in a single day, all of that would change. On May 31, 1921, the arrest of a young black man on a questionable charge of assaulting a young white woman touched off the deadliest race riot in U.S. history. Whites charged through the community in retaliation, leaving an estimated 300 people dead, another 10,000 black residents homeless and 35 city blocks in ruin.

The video below is courtesy of CBS/The History Channel:

No comments: