The Tulsa Race Massacre: 99 Years Later

The Tulsa Race Massacre: 99 Years Later

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Photos Courtesy of The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library Archives

For White Americans seeking to understand the depth of Black America’s pain and anger, the Tulsa Race Massacre is a good place to start. My guest today, Reggie Turner, produced and directed a documentary with first person accounts from survivors. They lived to tell the story of a thriving community that was a bastion of Black economic independence and wealth — until it was burned to the ground by an angry White mob.

Rather than releasing this episode on our regular Wednesday schedule, it seems fitting to post today, June 19, 2020, in honor of Juneteenth. Juneteenth commemorates the day slaves in Texas learned of their freedom, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The fact that President Trump had planned a political rally in Tulsa on this day, given the city’s incendiary racial history, felt like a slap in the face to many in the Black community. He has since moved the rally to tomorrow.

It’s been almost a century since Black Wall Street was burned to the ground, but the wounds are still fresh. How long does it take a wound to heal? Doctors would say it depends on how large or deep the cut is.

This one runs deep.