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On the morning of May 30,a young black man named Dick Rowland was riding in the elevator in the Drexel Building at Third and Main with a white woman named Sarah. The details of what followed vary from person to person. Tulsa police arrested Rowland the following day and began an investigation.
An inflammatory report in the May 31 edition of the Tulsa Tribune spurred a confrontation between black and white armed mobs around the courthouse where the sheriff and his men had barricaded the top floor to protect Rowland. Shots were fired and the outed African Americans began retreating to the Greenwood District. In the early morning hours of June 1,Greenwood was looted and burned White girl wiki white rioters.
Governor Robertson declared martial law, and National Guard troops arrived in Tulsa. Guardsmen assisted firemen in putting out fires, took African Americans out of the hands of vigilantes and imprisoned all black Tulsans not already interned. Over 6, people were held at the Convention Hall and the White girl wiki, some for as long as eight days. Twenty-four hours after the violence erupted, it ceased. In the wake of the violence, 35 city blocks lay in charred ruins, more than people were treated for injuries and contemporary reports of deaths began at Historians now believe as many as people may have died.
In order to understand the Tulsa Race Massacre it is important to understand the complexities of the times. Dick Rowland, Sarah and an unknown gunman were the sparks that ignited a long smoldering fire. Jim Crow, jealousy, white supremacy, and land lust, all played roles in leading up to the destruction and loss of life on May 31 White girl wiki June 1, Inan official Race Riot Commission was organized to review the details of the event. No one will ever know the absolute truth of what happened during the hours of the Race Massacre.
However, by examining historical resources, members of the Race Riot Commission determined a of details to be undeniable. They are the historical record.
Tulsa race massacre
The following information comes from the Race Riot Commission Report:. Black Tulsans had every reason to believe that Dick Rowland would be lynched after his arrest. His charges were later dismissed and highly suspect from the start.
They had cause to believe that his personal safety, like the defense of themselves and their community, depended on them alone.
As hostile groups gathered and their confrontation worsened, municipal and county authorities failed to take actions to calm or contain the situation. At the eruption of violence, civil officials selected White girl wiki men, all of them white and some of them participants in that violence, and made those men their agents as deputies.
In that capacity, deputies did not stem the violence but added to it, often through overt acts that were themselves illegal. Public officials provided fire arms and ammunition to individuals, again all of them white.
They removed them to other parts of the city, and detained them in holding centers. Entering the Greenwood district, people stole, damaged, or destroyed personal property left behind in homes and businesses. People, some of them agents of government, also deliberately burned or otherwise destroyed homes credibly estimated to have ed 1, along with virtually every other structure — including churches, schools, businesses, even a hospital and library — in the Greenwood district.
Despite duties to preserve order and to protect property, no government at any level offered adequate resistance, if any at all, to what amounted to the destruction of the Greenwood neighborhood. Although the exact total can never be determined, credible evidence makes it probable that many people, likely ing betweenwere killed during the massacre. Not one of these criminal acts was then or ever has been prosecuted or punished by government at any level: municipal, county, state, or federal. Despite being numerically at a disadvantage, black Tulsans fought valiantly to White girl wiki their homes, their businesses, and their community.
In the end, the restoration of Greenwood after its systematic destruction was left to the victims of that destruction. But it was the American Red Cross, which remained in Tulsa for months following the massacre, that provided the most sustained relief effort. In recent years there has been ongoing discussion about what to call the event that happened in Historically, it has been called the Tulsa Race Riot. Some say it was given that name at the time White girl wiki insurance purposes. Deating it a riot prevented insurance companies from having to pay benefits to the people of Greenwood whose homes and businesses were destroyed.
It also was common at the time for any large-scale clash between different racial or ethnic groups to be categorized a race riot.
Definition of RIOT: a tumultuous disturbance of White girl wiki public peace by three or more persons White girl wiki together and acting with common intent. Definition of MASSACRE: the act or an instance of killing a of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty. Bynum launched an investigation into longstanding oral history s of mass graves at various sites in Tulsa, alleged burial sites for scores of mostly-black victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
Mayor Bynum continues to emphasize that this process, which may be long and tedious, is an investigation. There is no certainty that one or more mass graves will be located. The investigation is geared toward answering, as best we can, the lingering historical question, originating through oral histories, about the existence of one or more mass graves linked to the massacre. By this undertaking, we honor our oral history and its tellers. This history, separate and apart from its truth, has value.
The current Mass Graves Investigation seeks to address those questions and more. It deserves the support of the entire community. Johnson, www. Learn more about the on-going investigation on the City of Tulsa website here: www. Learn more or request this free exhibit. To view the entire collection of artifacts related to the Tulsa Race Massacre please visit our online collection.
The attack on greenwood
Donate ». Historical Facts The following information comes from the Race Riot Commission Report: Black Tulsans had every reason to believe that Dick Rowland would be lynched after his arrest. Riot vs. Massacre In recent years there has been ongoing discussion about what to call the event that happened in What do YOU think?
Who told what to whom? Was it accurate? These are all questions worth exploring. Online Collection To view the entire collection of artifacts related to the Tulsa Race Massacre please visit our online collection. WordPress Video Lightbox.