Saturday, May 31, 2008

87 Years Ago Today... The Tulsa Riot

TulsariotWell, it was 87 years ago today that the Tulsa Tribune story hit the streets and ignited the Tulsa riot of 1921. The story--called by the Oklahoma City Black Dispatch "the false story that set Tulsa ablaze"--said that "Diamond" Dick Rowland, a young black man, had tried to assault a young white woman in an elevator the day before. After that, white people gathered at the courthouse, where Rowland was being held. They'd come to see a lynching and maybe participate in one.

Meanwhile, over in Greenwood, the black section of Tulsa, veterans of the world war met in a back room of the "Dreamland Theater" with a newspaper editor to plan how to stop the lync hing. Their trip to the courthouse to stop the lynching later that evening resulted in a struggle. Immediately it turned into the riot that led to the destruction of the black community. Along Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa this evening the ghosts of 1921 may be walking again, reliving that tragedy....

More on this story here. This is cross-posted from thefacultylounge.

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