Beginning on May 31, 1921 and lasting through June 1, 1921, one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism in United States history completely decimated the thriving, all-Black community of Greenwood.[1]

A large, angry White mob, including members of the Tulsa Police Department, the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department, and the National Guard, as well as other city and county leaders, overwhelmed the approximately 40-square-block community, killing hundreds of Black residents, injuring thousands more, burning down almost fifteen-hundred homes and businesses, and stealing residents’ personal property. Black Greenwood residents who managed to avoid physical injury were left homeless—with many forced to flee their hometown and never look back. Some were simply never heard from again. 

This brutal, inhumane attack robbed thousands of African Americans of their right of self-determination on which they had built the self-sustaining community of Greenwood. The horror witnessed by Massacre survivors created a generational burden that they and their descendants continue to carry.

The violence of the Massacre in its many forms, eroded the land, freedom, and wealth of the community of Greenwood and set the stage for the continued harm that reverberates within Tulsa’s Black community into the present day.

[1] Okla. Comm’n to Study the Race Massacre Report of 1921, Race Massacre Report [hereinafter, Race Massacre Report] (Feb. 28, 2001),  The Oklahoma State Legislature accepted the findings of the Race Massacre Report through the passage of 74 O.S. § 8001.

The Tulsa Race Massacre: Facts About the Attack