This online exhibit was created by the Tulsa City-County Library. The exhibit is composed of three parts that provide a background of Black Wall Street, information about the massacre, and the aftermath of the event.
The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot was America's bloodiest civil disturbance of the century. In this text, Alfred Brophy draws on his own extensive research into contemporary accounts and court documents to chronicle this devastating riot, showing how and why the rule of law quickly eroded.
When a crowd began to gather outside the jail in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on the evening of May 31, 1921, the fate of one of its prisoners, a young black male, seemed assured. Accused of attempting to rape a white woman, Dick Rowland was with little doubt about to be lynched. But in another part of town, a small group of black men, many of them World War I veterans, decided to risk lives for a different vision of justice. Before it was all over, Tulsa had erupted into one of America's worst racial nightmares, leaving scores dead and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed.