July 23, 2014 9:03 am

Survivors of Black Wall Street Race Riot Still Haven’t Received Any Reparations

Black Wall Street after the riot. Photo Credit: Al Jazeera

Black Wall Street after the riot. Photo Credit: Al Jazeera

Some financial observers attribute the black community’s economic woes to our unwillingness to financially support black businesses. Well, back in 1921, in a Tulsa, Oklahoma community named Black Wall Street, a dollar circulated 19 times before leaving the community. That was before a white mob destroyed the town. Given the ferocity of the attack and the complicity of Oklahoma police, one would think that by now survivors would’ve been compensated for what they endured, but they haven’t been.

As BreakingBrown previously reported, Black Wall Street had its own theaters, grocery stores, independent newspapers, and professional black class before being demolished by an irate white mob angry over a black teen’s alleged assault of a white female.

After the riot, Mayor T.D. Evans told a commission that what happened was “inevitable” adding,  “Let us immediately get to the outside fact that everything is quiet in our city, that this menace has been fully conquered, and that we are going on in a normal condition.”

And the city moved on and the people who lost everything, like Olivia Hooker, who is 99 now, have never been compensated for their loss.

Hooker, who was only a child during the riot, described to Al Jazeera how it impacted her.

“And so when this terrible thing happened, it really destroyed my faith in humanity,” she said. “And it took a good long while for me to get over it.”

There are less than a dozen survivors of the riot and they will all probably die without being compensated. All city officials have offered them thus far are empty apologies.

“I can not apologize for the actions, inaction and dereliction that those individual officers and their chief exhibited during that dark time,” said Tulsa Police Chief  Chuck Jordan in 2013. “But as your chief today, I can apologize for our police department. I am sorry and distressed that the Tulsa Police Department did not protect its citizens during those tragic days in 1921.”

Real reparations, however, come in dollars and cents, not words.



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  • Stickhoss says:

    Truth be told,  I think a lot Blacks are scared to make demands for anything specially reparations.  An apology without any form of compensation is worthless.   Ijs

  • TinaSue says:

    White America likes to call out the bad things other countries do; but they turn silent when their own crimes against humanity are mentioned.  Not one peep out of them. 

    I feel sorry for those still living with the nightmare of Black Wall Street. Our people suffered/suffer so much.

  • joy31608 says:

    We are quick to send aid all over the world but for AMERICANS who happen to be Black-nothing 🙁

  • joy31608 says:

    Stickhoss Especially those who survived White terrorism in the past.

  • Stickhoss says:

    Just my opinion, after slavery Blacks should have never had to live in a ghetto, we should never have had to answer to a Whites only Judge or juries.  We should have been given the right to return to Africa as we please if and when we please.  Whites send their kids to Africa as exchange students, allowing Africans, Swedish or British kids to visit America, We wouldn’t mind sending our kids off to visit another country.  But Blacks can’t send their kids to a better school if that school is not in their district, our kids get kicked out of school and the parents go to jail.  We’ve had a Black person in politics since the 1700’s. Look at the progress we’ve made.  Damn near as many Blacks in jail than there were slaves. Wow  Reparations should be the main agenda for all Black people.  From MKL to Barack Obama, Blacks as a people still haven’t made it to the mountain top.  WE HAVN’T MADE IT UNTILL WE ALL MAKE IT.  ijs

  • Watchful says:

    White supremacists have no intention of paying reparations to our people unless and until they’re forced to.

  • HoustonTapp says:

    Talk, talk, talk! It gets us nowhere.

  • joy31608 says:

    Stickhoss We need economic stability-our own businesses, schools, and the ability for self-determination. http://youtu.be/8EbHsZScESM

  • Stickhoss says:

    joy31608 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO70Pie–RY

  • Stickhoss says:

    joy31608 it’s like that

  • TinaSue says:

    Stickhoss joy31608 

    Thanks for posting that video.

  • Stickhoss says:

    TinaSue Stickhoss joy31608  You’re welcome and thank you,   I wish more black people understood.  I think some of us disgrace our ancestors by not calling a spade a spade.  Take care and I wish you peace an a long life

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