Giving Compass' Take:
- Experts at Brookings discuss the devastating impact of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, wherein many of Tulsa’s Black residents were murdered and communal wealth was destroyed.
- How can you support further scholarship on the harm Black Tulsa residents experienced as a result of the massacre? What can you do to advocate for reparations for Black Americans?
- Learn about a Tulsa-based grantmaking response to systemic racism.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
On May 19, 107-year-old Viola Fletcher visited Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress in its hearing for the centennial of Tulsa, Okla. race massacre. “I’m here seeking justice and I’m asking my country to acknowledge what happened in Tulsa in 1921,” Fletcher, a survivor of the massacre, said.
2021 marks 100 years since the infamous 1921 massacre in Tulsa, in which white mobs unleashed violence against the city’s Black people, Black institutions, and Black wealth. An estimated 300 people were killed and approximately 35 acres of commercial and residential property within the Greenwood District—known as Black Wall Street—were destroyed.
In her testimony, Fletcher described what Greenwood had meant to its residents and detailed how she lives with the memories every day. “Our country may forget this history, but I cannot, I will not, and other survivors do not, and our descendants do not,” she told Congress.
The Tulsa massacre is only recently receiving the national recognition it needs. But even as the massacre itself becomes better known, much of the remaining story of Greenwood is still left untold. In particular, little attention is given to subsequent events in Tulsa, including the rebuilding of Greenwood by its Black residents, followed by its second destruction—this time at the hands of white city planners during the “urban renewal” period of the 1960s to 1980s.
Read the full article about the Tulsa race massacre by Andre M. Perry, Anthony Barr, and Carl Romer at Brookings.