Tulsa Race Massacre, 100 years later: Why it happened and why it's still relevant today

Tulsa Massacre Lost Wealth
Posted at 7:48 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 20:48:06-04

Just decades after slavery in the United States left Black Americans in an economic and societal deficit, one bright spot stood out in Tulsa, Oklahoma — its Greenwood District, known as the “Black Wall Street,” where Black business leaders, homeowners, and civic leaders thrived, NBC News reports.

But 100 years ago, on May 31, 1921, and into the next day, a white mob destroyed that district, in what experts call the single-most horrific incident of racial terrorism since slavery.

An estimated 300 people were killed within the district’s 35 square blocks, burning to the ground more than 1,200 homes, at least 60 businesses, dozens of churches, a school, a hospital and a public library, according to a report issued by Human Rights Watch.

At least $1.4 million in damages were claimed after the massacre, or about $25 million in today’s dollars, after controlling for inflation and the current economy, but experts say it’s an underestimation.

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