US & World

A century after the slaughter, Black Tulsans struggles for voice | National

Tulsa, Oklahoma (AP) —In the early days of Oklahoma, an angry white mob fueled by rumors of a black uprising burned a thriving African-American community in Tulsa’s oil boom town. The area was quietly rebuilt and enjoyed the Renaissance in the years following the 1921 genocide, but the struggle between blacks for their place in the city did not end.

This month, local and state leaders formally acknowledge and redeem the massacre that claimed the lives of up to hundreds of people at a series of ceremonies, including a keynote speech by national voting advocates. Stacey Abrams. President Joe Biden Is also coming The White House has announced to the city. But Black Tulsans, in kind words, says that direct and subtle efforts still aim to curb their influence and refrain from the fair distribution of power.

History of oklahoma

Prior to the 1907 state, Oklahoma was the home of Native American tribes who had been expelled from other regions by the expansion of whites. Later, the government also decided to open the land, making it attractive to former slaves fleeing persecution in the south.It was also home Black species A person brought to the territory by a slavery tribe.

Some African Americans participated in the Land Rush in the late 1800s. They included EP McCabe, the leader of the movement who wanted Oklahoma to be the majority of the black nation freed from white oppression.

“(McCabe) has recruited blacks to actually come to Oklahoma, based on the theory that Oklahoma is a new promised land for these people,” said several books on the history of blacks in Oklahoma. The author, Oklahoma historian Hannibal Johnson, said. Obviously for that claim. “

Instead, many white settlers from the surrounding Confederate states poured into the territory, giving them a view as inferior who had to monitor blacks.The first law approved after Oklahoma became a state was the Jim Crow Law Needs separation Of rail cars and depots.

“Oklahoma is, in many ways, not a southern state from a racial policy perspective, but has begun to imitate the Deep South,” Johnson said.

Tulsa race massacre

1920s, so-called Harlem Renaissance When African Americans were migrating from the South, Tulsa had a black community of nearly 10,000 people north of the Frisco railroad tracks. The city was flooded with money from booming oil fields, and black residents worked as hotel porters, auto mechanics, workers, and domestic workers. Known as Blackwall Street, the Greenwood district was the wealthiest black community in the United States, with its own stores, restaurants, and other black-owned businesses.

On May 31, 1921, a black resident cart was armed and rushed to a downtown sheriff’s office to confront a white man who was allegedly gathered to kidnap and lynch a black prisoner in prison. A shootout broke out, and in the next 24 hours, a white mob, rumors of a black riot, raided the Greenwood area, burning it and destroying all 35 square blocks. Estimates of those killed ranged from 50 to 300.

Today’s black community

A hundred years later, African Americans still live in the northern part of the city, accounting for about 16% of Tulsa’s population of 400,000, or twice the proportion found in Oklahoma as a whole. The median income of black households is $ 25,979, about half that of white households in Tulsa County.

In the decades following the slaughter, doctors, ministers and lawyers have taken leadership with the undergraduate department of Booker T. Washington High School and the publisher of the Oklaho Maigle newspaper. However, Tulsa voted widely on the city’s committee, so black residents had little say in the city’s government.Blacks weren’t Election After the introduction of the ward system, it was sent to parliament until 1990.

According to community activists, the black community in Tulsa is more politically involved than before. In 2020, 34 year old black man Those who came to Tulsa through the Teach for America program are 30-year-old black community organizers who have won Democratic nominations in the race for seats in Tulsa’s parliament. Finished in 2nd place At the city mayor’s race.

Charles Wilkes, a 27-year-old community organizer, said the killings of two unarmed black men by white law enforcement officers in Talsa have boosted some young black voters in recent years.

In 2015, a white sheriff’s adjutant was shot dead Eric Harris, 44, being arrested. A year later, a police officer, Betty Shelby He shot deadly the Terence Clutcher who raised his hand. Shelby said he thought he was trying to get a weapon.

“We’ve seen shootings over and over again,” Wilkes said.

The black community in Tulsa has seen an influx of foundations and non-profit funds to improve public schools and combat poverty. In 2018, the city was dubbed National tops for philanthropy By the readers of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and the black community organization has doubled.

Monroe Nichols, a Democrat in Tulsa, said the black community should now focus on increasing turnout — Oklahoma overall. Voter turnout is the lowest Nationwide in 2020.

“I think the interest is there. I don’t think the engagement is there yet,” he said.

Conservative opposition

The overwhelmingly white and conservative leadership of Oklahoma no longer denies the genocide that was briefly mentioned in state history books for decades.

State and local authorities have supported observance of anniversaries. A new multimedia museum was adopted as a step towards recognizing the lessons of the incident. Republican US Senator James Lankford is a member of the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission in 1921.

But the Atonement of the past does not mean ending the current hostile movement, says members of the black community. They challenge the Oklahoma Republican Party’s support for a national GOP effort to limit voting opportunities, especially the recognition of the 2020 presidential election for ballots cast in black-populated cities, Rankford’s plan. Is quoted.

Rankford withdrew those plans after the rebels attacked the US Capitol. I apologized To Black Tarsan.

“Sure, my intention to speak to Oklahoma who asked the question was not to weaken the voice of black Americans,” he said.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt was also a member of the committee, Removed After he signs the bill Prohibit teaching specific concepts of race Racism in public schools.

Meanwhile, Republican-controlled state legislatures are cracking down on Black Lives Matter’s protests over social injustice. Down to protestersWith one new law, blocking the street is a misdemeanor punished with up to one year’s imprisonment. The bill may also provide legal immunity to drivers who encounter demonstrators on the road.

“If a mob surrounds someone’s car and threatens that person, they have the right to protect their family,” he said. Criticism on Twitter By the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., who signed the bill.

Oklahoma’s voting law is also one of the most restrictive laws in the country, with only three and a half days of early face-to-face voting. The mailed absentee ballot must be notarized, Nichols said, especially for low-income people.

Although less politically influential than the blacks of Old South, which has a large black population, African-Americans in Oklahoma are more likely to elect more Democrats in big cities in combination with highly educated white voters. It shows many possibilities. Tulsa and Oklahoma City are now increasingly democratic, with seven African-American lawmakers.

But Congress’s conservative Republican leadership is pushing this group to the limit. According to an Associated Press analysis, 72 of the 81 bills submitted by black lawmakers this year have not been heard by the Commission. Only two people arrived at the governor’s desk.

“We can’t respect the experience of black people or the voice of black people,” Nichols said.

Republican leader John Ecoles, the leader of the House of Representatives, said black lawmakers could be distracted as they promote more liberal bills in conservative parliament.

“It’s not a racial feature,” he said.


Find the full AP coverage below on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre:

A century after the slaughter, Black Tulsans struggles for voice | National

Source link A century after the slaughter, Black Tulsans struggles for voice | National

Related Articles

Back to top button