Black Wall Street: 1er Juin 1921

Black Wall Street: 1er Juin 1921

Le 1er juin 1921 aux États-Unis d'Amérique, le "Black Wallstreet" était mis à feu et à sang par des groupes du Ku Klux Klan.
Cet évènement est connu sous le nom des émeutes de Tulsa, du nom de la deuxième ville d'Oklahoma.
Connu aussi sous le nom de 
la "Petite Afrique",  le "Black Wallstreet" était le symbole de la réussite de la communauté noire dans le monde des affaires aux États-Unis.
Le mail ci-joint renvoie à une vidéo découpée en 12 parties relatant cet évènement.

In the interest of history, and in case someone has not heard of “Black Wall Street .

MAY  WE NEVER FORGET!

The 
date was June 1, 1921 when "BLACK WALLSTREET", the name fittingly 
given to one of the most affluent all-BLACK communities in America , was  bombed
 from the air and burned to the ground by mobs of envious whites. In a period panning fewer than 12 hours, a once thriving Black business district in northern Tulsa lay smoldering--a model ommunity destroyed, and a major African-American economic movement resoundingly defused. 


The night's 
carnage left some 3,000 African Americans dead and over 600 successful businesses lost. Among these were 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores and two movie theaters, plus a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half dozen private airplanes and even a bus system. As could have been expected, the impetus behind it all was the infamous Ku Klux Klan, working in consort with ranking city officials and many other sympathizers.

The best 
description of BLACK WALLSTREET, or little Africa as it was also known, would be to compare it to a mini-Berverly ills. It was the "golden door" of the BLACK community during the early 1900s, and it proved that African Americans could create a successful infrastructure. That's what BLACK WALLSTREET was all about.
 


The dollar 
circulated 36 to 100 times, sometimes taking a year for currency to leave the community. Now a dollar leaves the 
BLACK community in 15-minutes. As far as resources, there were Ph.D.'s residing in little Africa ,... BLACK attorneys 
and doctors. One such person was Dr. Berry who owned the bus system. His average income was $500 a 
day,...hefty pocket change in 1910. 

It was a time 
when the entire state of Oklahoma had only two Airports, yet six BLACKS owned their own planes. It was a very fascinating community. The mainstay of the community was to educate every child. Nepotism was the one word they believed in, and that's what we need to get back to.

The main 
thoroughfare was Greenwood Avenue , and it was intersected by Archer and Pine Streets. From the first letters in each of those three street names, you get G.A..P., and that's where the renowned R and B music group the GAP Band got its name. They're from Tulsa . 

BLACK WALLSTREET was a 
prime example of the typical, BLACK community in America that had its own  businesses, but it was in an unusual location. You see, at the time, Oklahoma was set aside to be a BLACK and INDIAN state. There were over 28 
BLACK townships there. One third of the people who traveled in the terrifying "Trail of Tears" along side the Indians, 
between 1830 and 1842, were BLACK people. 

The 
citizens of this proposed Indian and BLACK state chose a BLACK governor, a Treasurer from Kansas named McDade. But the Ku Klux Klan said that if he assumed office, they would kill him within 48 hours. Lots of BLACKS owned 
farmland, and many of them had gone into the oil business. The community was so tight and wealthy because they traded dollars hand-to-hand, and because they were dependent upon one another as a result of the Jim Crow Laws. 

It was 
not unusual that if a resident's home accidentally burned down, it would be rebuilt within a few weeks by neighbors. 
This was the typical day-to-day scenario on BLACK WALLSTREET. When Blacks intermarried into the Indian 
culture, some of them received their promised '40 acres and a mule' and with that came whatever oil was later found on the properties. 

On BLACK WALLSTREET, a lot of global business was conducted.  The community flourished from the early 1900s until June 1, 1921. Then, the largest massacre of nonmilitary Americans in the history of this country took place.   It was led by the KU KLUX KLAN.  Imagine walking out your front door and seeing 1,500 homes burning. It must have been a 
terrifying sight.

 Survivors who 
were interviewed think that the whole thing was planned because while all of this was going on, white families, with their children, stood along the borders of the community and silently watched the massacre, the looting and everything--much in the same manner they would watch a lynching.
 


The riots 
weren't caused by any Black-White incident.  It was caused by jealousy. A lot of white folks had come back from 
World War I to poverty.  They looked over into the thriving BLACK communities and saw that BLACK men who 
had fought in the war were being welcomed home with great and joyful ceremony and celebrated as  heroes.  That 
envy helped trigger the destruction. 

It cost 
the BLACK community everything, and not a single dime of restitution, no one insurance claim-- has been awarded the victims to this day.. Nonetheless, they rebuilt.  It is estimated that 1,500 to 3,000 people were killed and it is known that a lot of them were buried in mass graves all around the city. Some were thrown into the river. As a matter of fact, at the corner of 21st street and Yale Avenue , where now stands a Sears parking lot, there used to be a coal mine. hey threw a lot of the bodies into the 
shafts. 

Unmarked 
graves


TULSA, Oklahoma (CNN) -- Beulah Smith and Kenny Booker, two elderly Oklahomans, lived through this, one of the worst race riots in U.S. history, a rarely mentioned 1921 Tulsa blood bath that officially claimed lots of African-American lives, likely hundreds, perhaps even thousands.

 

The Tulsa Race 
Riot Commission, formed two years ago to determine exactly what happened, will consider next week the ontroversial issue of what, if any, reparations should be paid to the known survivors of the riot, a group of less than 100 that includes Smith, now 92, and Booker, 86.


"The gun went off, the riot was 
on!"
On the night 
of May 31, 1921, mobs called for the lynching of Dick Rowland, a black man who shined shoes, after hearing reports hat, on the previous day, he had assaulted Sarah Page, a white woman, in the elevator she operated in a downtown building. 

A local 
newspaper had printed a fabricated story that Rowland tried to rape Page. In an editorial, the same newspaper said a hanging was planned for that night. 

As groups of both Blacks and Whites converged on the Tulsa courthouse, a White man in the crowd confronted an armed Black man, a war veteran, who had joined with other blacks to protect Rowland. 


That fabricated 
newspaper story would trigger the violent riots that may have left hundreds, if not thousands, dead. Commission member Eddie Faye Gates told CNN what happened next. "This White man," she said, asked the lack man, "what are you doing with that gun?'" 


"'I'm going to use it if I have to,'" the Black man said, according to Gates, "and the White man said, "No, you're not. Give it to me!", and he tried to take it. The gun went off, the White man was dead, the riot was on." 

Truckloads of Whites set 
fires and shot Blacks on sight. When the smoke lifted the next day, more than 1,400 homes and businesses in Tulsa 's Greenwood district, the prosperous area known as the "Black Wall Street," lay in ruins. 

Today, only a single block of the original buildings remains standing in the area. 

The 
official death toll is listed below 100, most of them Black, but there was always doubt about the actual number. Some 
experts now estimate that as few as 300 people, and perhaps as many as 3,000, died.


"We're in a heck of a lot of trouble!"

 

Beulah Smith was 14 years old the night of the riot. A neighbor named Frenchie came pounding on her family's door in the Tulsa neighborhood known as "Little Africa " that also went up in flames. 

"'Get your families out of here 
because they're killing 'Niggers uptown,'" she remembers Frenchie saying. "We hid in the weeds in the hog pen..." Smith told CNN. 


People in a mob that came to Kenny Booker's house asked, "'Nigger, do you have a gun?'" he told CNN. 

Booker, then a 
teen-ager, hid with his family in their attic until the home was torched. "When we got downstairs, things were burning. My sister asked me, "Kenny, is the world on fire?" I said, 'I don't know, but we're in a heck of a lot of trouble, baby.'" 

Another 
riot survivor, Ruth Avery, who was 7 at the time, gives an account matched by others who told of bombs dropped from small airplanes passing overhead. The explosive devices may have been dynamite or Molotov cocktails -- gasoline-filled bottles set afire and thrown as grenades. 

"They'd throw it down and when it'd hit, it would burst into flames," Avery said. 


Only a single 
block remains of the 1,400 homes and businesses that made up the area known as the "Black Wall Street".


Unmarked graves...
Many of the survivors mentioned "bodies were stacked like cord wood," says Richard Warner of the Tulsa Historical Society. 

In its search for the facts, the Commission has literally been trying to dig up the truth. 


Two headstones at Tulsa 's Oaklawn Cemetery indicate that riot victims are buried there. In an effort to determine how many, archeological experts, in May, used ground-piercing radar and other equipment to test the soil in a search for unmarked graves. 


The test picked up indications that dozens, if not hundreds, of people may have been buried in an area just outside 
the cemetery.

 

Something to motivate us all...  Image removed
by
sender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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