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The BurningMassacre Destruction And THe Tulsa Race Riot Of 1921

Ficult to pinpoint Conservative estimates put the number of dead at about 100 75% of the victims are believed to have been black but the actual number of casualties could be triple that The Tulsa Race Riot Commission formed two years ago to determine exactly what happened has recommended that restitution to the historic Greenwood Community would be good public policy and do much to repair the emotional as well as physical scars of this most In The Burning Fort Worth Star Telegram journalist Tim Madigan has writ

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On the morning of June 1 1921 a white mob numbering in the thousands marched across the railroad tracks dividing black from white in Tulsa Oklahoma and obliterated a black community then celebrated as one of America's most prosperous 34 suare blocks of Tulsa's Greenwood community known then as the Negro Wall Street of America were reduced to smoldering rubbleAnd now 80 years later the death toll of what is known as the Tulsa Race Riot is dif eye opening and incredibly sad that of america doesn't know about this Kleist in Thun years later the death toll of what is known as the Tulsa Race Riot is dif eye opening and incredibly sad that of america doesn't know about this

Tim Madigan ç 5 Read

Terrible incident in our shared past With chilling details humanity and the narrative thrust of compelling fiction The Burning will recreate the town of Greenwood at the height of its prosperity explore the currents of hatred racism and mistrust between its black residents and neighboring Tulsa's white population narrate events leading up to and including Greenwood's annihilation and document the subseuent silence that surrounded the tragedy It's an interesting overview and it's very evocative of the time in whi

10 thoughts on “The BurningMassacre Destruction And THe Tulsa Race Riot Of 1921

  1. says:

    This book is a well rendered historical account of racial violence that occurred on May 31 and June 1 1921 in Tulsa Oklahoma The author first describes incidents leading up to the event while also introducing the reader to several characters who will be part of the story Then the event itself and all its violence is described with a followup report on its aftermath and the response to it over subseuent years Rather than try to summarize the events in this review I've decided to simply select some excerpts from the book which I've posted below with my own introductory comments preceding each uote If you want to read about the event I suggest reading this Wikipedia articleThis book is filled with numerous acts of wanton disregard for life aka murder For this review I've decided to limit myself to this one incidentAn old black couple refused to be displaced when the mob stormed down their street that night so when the whites burst through their door they found the man and his wife kneeling side by side in prayer at the foot of their bed Each was immediately shot in the back of the head Their home was looted and set on fire incinerating the bodies of the couple inside P120 It's interesting to note that for many years nobody would talk about the event and when it was mentioned many refused to believe it was possible Fifty years after the event in 1971 an amateur historian decided to write a historical account of the event He started receiving death threats when word got out about his interviewing of survivors and witnesses Which makes one wonder who is issuing death threats fifty years after the event? Are the mob participants who are now in their 70s and 80s making those threats? The following excerpt addresses what appeared to be a conspiracy of silenceScholars and Journalists attempting to reconstruct the great burning in the decades after it happened bumped up against an almost impenetrable conspiracy of silence among Tulsa whites one inspired by shame in some cases in others by the lack of a statute of limitations for murder In any event within hours of the catastrophe the mobsters had disappeared back into the fabric of local life their atrocious tales to be whispered in the secrecy of the Klan meetings or bragged about in speakeasies when a mobster was overly drunk or recounted on deathbeds when the prospect of hell finally compelled the guilty to unburden themselves P143The massacre left about 10000 blacks homeless and the black owned commercial business district in ruins The following excerpt describes the extent of the destructionThirty five suare blocks of the negro community lay almost completely in ruin save for a number of out houses and a few isolated residences As the whites had moved north on June 1st they put the torch to than 1115 negro homes—314 were looted but not burned—five hotels thirty one restaurants four drug stores eight doctor’s offices the new Dunbar School two dozen grocery stores the Negro hospital the public library and even a dozen churches including the community’s most magnificent new edifice Mount Zion Baptist Church Most personal belongings of the blacks were consumed as well along with monetary savings that Greenwood families typically kept tucked away under mattresses or hidden in cupboards because no black banks existed on the north side of the tracks P221 The death toll will never be determined for sure because of the hasty efforts of whites to haul off the bodies and bury them in unmarked graves The following excerpt is the book's discussion of the widely varying estimates of the number killed In the burning’s immediate aftermath a Tulsa fire official estimated the dead at 185 saying that many of the victims had been incinerated in their homes But Tulsa’s official estimate was uickly revised downward to seventy seven dead—nine whites and sixty eight Negroes and reduced even further in coming days to ten whites and twenty six NegroesAnyone in Tulsa on the day of the burning knew that death estimate to be ludicrous For hundreds of Tulsans the most vivid memories of the tragedy were the surreal scenes of trucks rumbling through town in succession hauling piles of black bodies through the city apparently en route to burial grounds at unknown destinations out in the country Dozens of other bodies were seen stacked like firewood onto railroad flatcars P222 223 In 1996 as the massacre's 75th anniversary neared the state legislature authorized an Oklahoma Commission to investigate the Tulsa Race Riot later called a massacre by appointing individuals to study and prepare a report detailing a historical account of the riot One of their recommendations was for direct payment of reparations to survivors The State did appropriate some funds for scholarships construction of memorials and economic developmentOne reason I find this story shocking is because it happened not too far from where I grew up within the lifetime of my parents

  2. says:

    “wake up we have to go The white people are killing the colored folks”Many people may have heard of the 1921 Greenwood race riot for the first time a few weeks ago when Trump proposed holding a political rally in Tulsa Oklahoma on Juneteenth It’s not surprising that no one in the Trump administration had ever heard of the riot by white residents or of Juneteenth For decades both black and white Tulsa residents declined to speak publicly about the riot possibly from shame or fear Fortunately the story finally received the attention it deserves Greenwood was a prosperous Negro community in Tulsa Many of its residents were highly educated professionals but there were people from all walks of life A minor incident with a white female elevator operator resulted in the arrest of a black teenaged boy The harm done consisted of the accidental stepping on a toe Nevertheless the white citizens of Tulsa were incensed by the assault on white womanhood and there were rumors that they proposed lynching the accused A group of men from Greenwood went to the jail to prevent the lynching A mob of thousands of white men countered this by completely destroying 35 suare blocks of Greenwood They shot people in their homes then they burned the homes after looting them Houses churches libraries hospitals movie theaters hotels cafes stores doctors offices hidden savings and all personal property were all completely destroyed An accurate count of the injured and dead was not maintained but there were accounts of mass burials and of piles of black shot and burned bodies being hauled away in trucks This riot was not an isolated incident in American history but the scope of the devastation does make it stand outThis book is a very detailed and well organized account of the riot and it’s aftermath Greenwood was rebuilt without much assistance from Tulsa The riot boosted enrollment in the KKK and most of Tulsa’s civic leaders were members At the time this book was written in 2001 a commission was investigating the riot and considering reparations Unfortunately that is where the book ends

  3. says:

    eye opening and incredibly sad that of america doesn't know about this horrible event

  4. says:

    I was already aware of the Tulsa Race Riots and the major events that lead up to the event and how it was buried for than half a century The book goes into a little detail than anything I've read or seen and does so in an enjoyable manner It is well organized written and documented Definitely a story that needs to get out It is an example of how we forget our own history if we are not forced to learn it or acknowledge it

  5. says:

    In The Burning Fort Worth Star Telegram journalist Tim Madigan has written a riveting and sobering account of an incomprehensible event in American history the so called Tulsa race riot of May 31 June 1 1921 that really is accurately described as a warOver the course of two days a prosperous and vibrant African American neighborhood called Greenwood located on the north side of the Frisco railroad tracks near downtown Tulsa Oklahoma was literally burned to the ground Hundreds were killed although official Tulsa never acknowledged the extent of the human loss Our history books of the 1960s covered Detroit and Watts and Jackson Why was this story never included in our histories of the 1920s? If it had been in the profound manner that Madigan delivers it might we have averted some of what came after? One wondersIf you know Tim Madigan's writing only from his light hearted I'm Proud of You a brief book chronicling his friendship with Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood fame you'll be shocked by the depth of his investigative and literary work hereOne of the most significant books I've read in the past year

  6. says:

    The most catastrophic race riot in American history occurred in the summer of 1921 in Tulsa Oklahoma Eighty years later a state committee formed to officially address the tragedy concluded that the 18 hours of civil unrest that devastated the black neighborhood of Greenwood was a massacre than a riotIn 2001 the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 reported that up to 300 people were killed and nearly 10000 people left homeless in just 18 hours of unrestrained white on black mob violence In The Burning author Tim Madigan does an excellent job of recounting the ordeal of Greenwood's citizens with stories from actual survivors who as children had the terrifying experience branded on their hearts and soulsLocated across the tracks from the white section of Tulsa the Greenwood neighborhood was known as Black Wall Street Greenwood was affluent in its own right and populated with many white collar professionals Doctors lawyers and clergymen and the white folks of Tulsa apparently couldn't abide a successful black communityThroughout history the Tulsa Race massacre has remained America's best kept secret “The incident was not a part of the Oklahoma public schools’ curriculum until 2000 and only recently entered American history textbooks” New York Manazine Why? By the 1980s the remaining elderly blacks expressed varying feelings of shame loss of pride and fear; while whites expressed fear of exposure of their involvement there is no statute of limitations on murder or shame In addition to Klansmen city officials legislators and other politicians were involved even if it was a matter of turning a blind eye The incident started when a black teen crossed the tracks and flirted with a young white female elevator operator of ill repute and as he stepped off the elevator she screamed assault Of course he was immediately arrested and jailed As the Klan would have it a lynch mob congregated and demanded that the sheriff turn the black boy over to them Vigilante justice Blacks in Greenwood heard of it and went out armed to defend their own The clash cooled but the incident was written about the next morning by a yellow journalist who slanted the story against the Greenwood men The newspaper story reignited the incident Here is where THE BURNING began In addition to The well armed KKK white men acuired every sort of gun and ammo available Emptied out every hardware store and crossed the tracks en mass Think Jim Crow Whites greatly outnumbered blacks National guard was called in and told that the niggers had gotten out of line and started rioting Fathers shot and then let their little sons shoot at the niggers Gallons of petro were sloshed on homes and businesses and torched Many fled from Greenwood but flames were so thick it was hard to see their way out or even to avoid being shot Two planes flew over and fired on them Many couldn't get out Many feared leaving The men of Greenwood made a heroic defensive effort but were outmanned and outgunned Survivors tell stories of bodies “stacked like cordwood” loaded on trucks dumped in the Arkansas River thrown down mine shafts or just burned when they didn't make it out of their homes in timeWhen it was over little was left Reports of lives lost vary to between 26 and 300 Thirty five city blocks lay in charred ruins 1256 homes were burned and another 215 looted Survivors had to move into tents and thrown together shackshttpsyoutubeKdrSv09HVEPermanently scarred they were but indefatigable they also were Over time Black Wall Street was rebuilt Maybe not as opulent and maybe missing many prime time players it was still home to them Mt Zion Baptist Church BurningMt Zion Baptist Church rebuiltThanks to Tim Madigan and a few other progressive thinkers for giving voice to what was the greatest race massacre in the last century

  7. says:

    45 stars A most excellent work of nonfiction If you don't know anything about The Tulsa Race Riot this is the book

  8. says:

    It's an interesting overview and it's very evocative of the time in which this happened There's are all kinds of wow I never knew that moments for readers interested in Tulsa history the race riot was just not mentioned in Tulsa for so long at the end of the book it even talks about threats made to a reporter who was planning to write about it as late as the 1970s that it's entirely possible to have grown up in Tulsa and have never known that this happenedThat said however I dislike the way it's just out and out fictionalized with florid descriptions and exact surmised dialogue It's written like a novel than non fiction I realize that this is a common techniue in this kind of popular history and that might be exactly what's needed to get people to read about such a horrific event It seems like a good stepping off point for reading on the topic I was just looking for a scholarly book I guess

  9. says:

    I read this because both of my older white parents read it and loved it and were so interested in this piece of history and they wanted to talk to me about it And I was like oh yeah I watched HBO Watchmen but OKAnyway I think it is an interesting piece of history and where this book does its best is when it's talking about the climate leading up to the riot as well as the lingering impact it's had on the survivors of that day A lot of this history had been lost literally burned I was fascinated to read that the Oklahoma Historical Society offered a reward to anyone who could produce a copy of Richard Lloyd Jones' editorial that spurred on the riot But apparently the text of that editorial is still lost to historyWhere this book faltered for me was its attempts to fill in lost history with imagined dialogue from people who died or recreations of scenes that there obviously wasn't documentation for? Especially when he was recreating scenes from the POV of white folks who were using the n word liberally Like I mean I'm sure they were but then it was his choice to liketype the n word into his book a bunch of times Still clearly well researched and did a great job of illuminating so to speak this moment in history But you could probably just watch Watchmen instead tbh

  10. says:

    The worst race riot or race massacre in US history happened in the African American neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa Oklahoma in 1921 A legal dispute with one of the residents of this well off black neighborhood leads to a riot massacre burning down of this neighborhood from which it never recovered The descriptions of the acts committed against the residents of this neighborhood make for brutal reading It was pretty horrific I know 1880 t0 ab0ut 1925 was the nadir of the prospect of post civil war blacks but you don't understand what that means unless you see the details in books like this

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