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The attack, carried out on the ground and by air, destroyed more than 35 blocks of the district, at the time the one up on wall street peter lynch pdf download black community in the nation. 6,000 black residents were arrested and detained, many for several days.

The riot began over a Memorial Day weekend after a young black man was accused of raping a young white female elevator operator at a commercial building. A group of armed African-American men rushed to the police station, to prevent a lynching, where the young suspect was held and a white crowd had gathered. As this news spread throughout the city, mob violence exploded. Thousands of whites rampaged through the black community that night and the next day, killing men and women, burning and looting stores and homes. National Guardsmen fired a machine gun into the black community and a plane dropped sticks of dynamite.

In an eyewitness account discovered in 2015, Greenwood attorney Buck Colbert Franklin described watching a dozen or more planes, which had been dispatched by the city police force, drop burning balls of turpentine on Greenwood’s rooftops. Both black and white residents who stayed in the city were silent for decades about the terror, violence, and losses of this event. The riot was largely omitted from local and state, as well as national, histories: “The Tulsa race riot of 1921 was rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private. Blacks and whites alike grew into middle age unaware of what had taken place. With the number of survivors declining, in 1996, the 75th anniversary of the riot, a bi-partisan group in the state legislature authorized formation of the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. Members were appointed to investigate events, interview survivors, hear testimony from the public, and prepare a report of events.

There was an effort toward public education about these events through the process. The state passed legislation to establish some scholarships for descendants of survivors, encourage economic development of Greenwood, and develop a memorial park in Tulsa to the riot victims. The park was dedicated in 2010. A map of Tulsa in 1920.

Greenwood was in northern Tulsa. Oklahoma had a racially and politically tense atmosphere. The territory had been established for resettlement of Native Americans from the Southeast, some of whom had owned slaves. It was admitted as a state on November 16, 1907. Major cities passed additional restrictions.

26 were black, and nearly all were men and boys. During the twenty years following the riot, the number of lynchings statewide fell to two. On August 16, 1916, Tulsa passed an ordinance that mandated residential segregation by forbidding blacks or whites from residing on any block where three-fourths or more of the residents were of the other race. At the same time, black veterans pushed to have their civil rights enforced, believing they had earned full citizenship by military service. 1919, industrial cities across the Midwest and North experienced severe race riots, most often led against blacks by ethnic whites among recent immigrant groups, who competed with blacks for jobs.

In Chicago and some other cities, blacks defended themselves for the first time with force but were outnumbered. Northeastern Oklahoma was in an economic slump that increased unemployment. Its first significant appearance in Oklahoma occurred on August 12, 1921, less than three months after the Tulsa riot. By the end of 1921, Tulsa had 3,200 residents in the Klan by one estimate.

The city’s population was 72,000 in 1920. Blacks had created their own businesses and services in this enclave, including several grocers, two independent newspapers, two movie theaters, nightclubs, and numerous churches. Black professionals: doctors, dentists, lawyers, and clergy, served the community. Because of residential segregation in the city, most classes of blacks lived together in Greenwood.

They selected their own leaders and raised capital there to support economic growth. In the surrounding areas of northeastern Oklahoma, blacks also enjoyed relative prosperity and participated in the oil boom. Main Street shine parlor, entered the only elevator of the nearby Drexel Building, at 319 South Main Street, to use the top-floor restroom, which was restricted to blacks. He encountered Sarah Page, the 17-year-old white elevator operator who was on duty.

The two likely knew each other at least by sight, as this building was the only one nearby with a restroom which Rowland had express permission to use, and the elevator operated by Page was the only one in the building. A clerk at Renberg’s, a clothing store located on the first floor of the Drexel, heard what sounded like a woman’s scream and saw a young black man rushing from the building. The clerk went to the elevator and found Page in what he said was a distraught state. The 2001 Oklahoma Commission Final Report notes that it was unusual for both Rowland and Page to be working downtown on Memorial Day, when most stores and businesses were closed. It suggests that Rowland had a simple accident, such as tripping and steadying himself against the girl, or perhaps they were lovers and had a quarrel. Dick Rowland and Sarah Page knew each other has long been a matter of speculation.

It seems reasonable that they would have least been able to recognize each other on sight, as Rowland would have regularly ridden in Page’s elevator on his way to and from the restroom. Yet, in the days and years that followed, everyone who knew Dick Rowland agreed on one thing: that he would never have been capable of rape. The word “rape” was rarely used in newspapers or academia in the early 20th century. Instead, “assault” was used to describe such an attack.