What Really Happened at the Tulsa Massacre?

HBO's "Watchmen" opened with a visceral imagining of the Tulsa Massacre in 1921. That destruction of "Black Wall Street" was real, and a moment that history books have yet to fully reckon with.

Believed to be the single worst incident of racial violence in American history

One of the worst instances of racial violence in U.S. history is one many Americans don’t even know happened. For 18 hours in 1921, the black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma was burned to the ground by a white lynch mobs. On May 30, 1921, Black teenager Dick Rowland was arrested for allegedly assaulting a white elevator operator. When an angry white mob threatened to lynch Rowland, a group of armed black WWI veterans arrived to protect the teen. Pandemonium soon broke out.

Soon, thousands of white citizens, deputized by the police, began looting and burning black homes and businesses in Greenwood. The Greenwood district was known as Black Wall Street — a thriving black-owned business district and the wealthiest black community in the U.S. Many claimed the attack was motivated by anxieties about new black financial mobility. During the massacre, firebombs were dropped from planes. 1,256 houses were burned and up to 300 people were killed. Property damage amounted to up to $32 million in 2019 metrics according to the Oklahoma Commission.

In 2001, an official Race Riot Commission was organized to review the details of the event. No one will ever know the absolute truth of what happened during the hours of the Race Riot. However, by examining historical resources, members of the Race Riot Commission determined a number of details to be undeniable. “These are not myths, not rumors, not speculations, not questioned. They are the historical record.” No prosecutions took place for any actions committed during the massacre, and the tragedy was subsequently omitted in local, state, and federal history books. It wasn’t until the riot’s 75th anniversary that the state of Oklahoma finally expressed a desire to bring the events to light.


10/23/2019 12:00 PM


  • Ann R.
    03/25/2021 17:51


  • Daniel C.
    07/23/2020 04:55

    Pay up America. The wound still open. Reparation is do

  • Bruce A.
    07/19/2020 20:25

    People really need to get the past and move forward, Stop with the negative energy, and Be more Positive.!!

  • Fook K.
    07/16/2020 00:36

    USA should be ashamed for the incident in Tulsa Oklahoma

  • Joyce M.
    07/14/2020 01:28


  • Nestor M.
    07/13/2020 14:15

    Sons of the devil!😈

  • Barbara E.
    07/13/2020 13:45

    “Change” is The American People’s only Defense against “Ignorance”....

  • Brooks-Ray T.
    07/11/2020 12:51

    Should have never happened

  • Preston J.
    07/11/2020 07:37

    Not sure why it was called a riot, when in fact it was a massacre!!

  • Holly H.
    07/11/2020 00:31


  • Norman G.
    07/10/2020 18:20

    Who the Fk flies over and Bombs their own Country!?! Sick Country👎

  • Norman G.
    07/10/2020 18:11

    Sick Country👎

  • Debbie C.
    07/10/2020 15:12

    The president then did NOTHING none of those devils were arrested, how tell me how could this happen in so called make america great again.

  • Audrey D.
    07/10/2020 08:20

    1921 Wypipo are some type of disgusting cowards piece of 💩 that get triggered by black success and their descendants inherited the same ugliness.

  • Rita F.
    07/10/2020 07:33

    No you murdered and slaughtered, just say it , because you thought you were great

  • Len I.
    07/10/2020 07:16

    And no nation has bombed mainland american soil besides themself. What a joke

  • Graham P.
    07/09/2020 21:50

    Still haven't learned, America has got a lot to learn, native Americans, black Americans all persecuted,all living under one roof, what are they scared of.

  • Mervin P.
    07/09/2020 05:38

    I just cannot understand the ignorance. This was not a race riot. This was a race lynching.

  • Liseyas S.
    07/08/2020 19:47

    The government was watching between fingers.

  • Howard D.
    07/07/2020 18:38

    They had their own community , who jobs were they taking? The whole idea is that blacks once again defied the odds and thrived even though they tried to stomp them out. So they were waiting for a moment to create this carnage. They have done this many time throughout American History.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

By continuing, you agree to receive emails from Brut.