The Falling City- The Tulsa Race Massacre

Aarah Sisco and Betty Hadish

The falling city

Greenwood city was originally a land where Native Americans were forced to settle in 1906. However, after the civil war many African Americans who were former slaves settled there as well. Greenwood was the first town that black people took over and made their own. Oklahoma was the foundation of where the African American success began to happen. In the article Tulsa’s ‘Black Wall Street’ Flourished as a Self-Contained Hub in Early 1900s it explains, “Between 1865 and 1920, African Americans founded more than 50 black townships in the state.” This indicates that there were over hundreds of black owned businesses. For the first time, African Americans were flourishing. They were gaining independence. This quickly caught everyone’s attention including the white residents because they underestimated the success of black people. Due to this, something that was supposed to be good and beneficial quickly went down hill.

Tulsa Race Massacre 

The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of the most severe incidents of racial violence in U.S history. The massacre left somewhere between 30 and 300 people dead, mostly African Americans, and destroyed Tulsa’s successful black neighborhood of Greenwood, Known as the “Black Wall Street.” This took place in Oklahoma. Nobody was informed about this The Tulsa Race Massacre until 1990. There was a lot of segregation and a lot of African Americans got into many situations where they didn’t have the right to speak or have any freedom. One situation where a young African Shoe shiner, Rowland, was accused of assaulting a white elevator operator named Sarah Page in the elevator of a building in downtown Tulsa. Rowland got held. Mobs of African Americans and Whites came to meet Rowland where he was held. The Africans Americans were protecting Rowland from the White protester. The white protester then died and caused the mob of White people to get angry. That’s when the Tulsa Race Massacre was thus ignited. 

Two days later, the white people attacked. This photo shows the destruction that was created during the Tulsa Race Massacre. Many survivors said that there were bombs coming out from airplanes and white people looted and set fire to their homes and all achievements they have made. Many of the mob members were known to be World War 1 veterans and shot African Americans on sight. (
This picture shows a group of African American men being marched down a street toward a detention center during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. There is a cacausion man holding a rifle or shotgun and watching the African American men. (
This picture is explaining that this hospital was set up by the Red Cross following the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. (
The Tulsa Race Massacre ended on June 1, 1921. There were more than 800 injuries and 36 deaths. Though many experts say that there were about 300 deaths in total. The African Americans built business and many homes. After the massacre, more than 1, 400 homes and businesses were burned and nearly 10,000 people were left homeless. (

The Tulsa Race Massacre left many people devastated and confused on what to do after all that happened. African Americans were doubted just because of their skin color. I hope that more people could understand that talking about African Americans is not only about what the White people did to us, but also the achievements that we have brought on to this world to show the people that we are capable. This topic was talked about because the school always focuses on what white people did to the Africans and that they were looked at as weak people and had no power. Instead, we should also include the fact that African Americans did achieve things in life and made an impact on the world.