Tulsa Race Riots 1921
1921 Black Wall Street Memorial, Tulsa burning 1921, National Guard truck and photos on display at Tulsa Museum Photo credit: Wesley Fryer / Flickr (CC BY 2.0), Library of Congress / Wikimedia, Tulsa world / Wikimedia and Wesley Fryer / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

There have been many proud and shameful days in US history. Americans have heard of many of them. One particular event, however, has long evaded public scrutiny. WhoWhatWhy is doing its part to change that by commemorating the anniversary of one of the most shameful episodes in the country’s history each year.

“Black Wall Street” was a prospering African-American neighborhood In Tulsa, Oklahoma, that went up in flames 95 years ago. Incredibly, most Americans have never heard of the shameful events of June 1, 1921, when whites firebombed the neighborhood from the air and an estimated 300 African-Americans were murdered.

For decades, the city of Tulsa tried to erase this dark day from its memory and history books alike. It  nearly succeeded — because what happened seems almost impossible to believe.

Complete with eyewitness accounts, the following video tells the truly stunning story of that day.


Related front page panorama photo credit: Tulsa, Oklahoma after riots of 1921 (Mary E. Jones Parrish / Wikimedia)

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