Editor's note: The following may include first-person accounts of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that contain graphic depictions and antiquated racial terminology. We have chosen not to edit these survivor accounts to leave their stories unencumbered by interpretation or exclusion. This graphic novel was originally published in 2021 in conjunction with the 100 years later package. By 1921, an affluent class of African American entrepreneurs was growing in Greenwood. Many white citizens were beginning to resent their success
Todd Pendleton According to a 2005 report by the National Parks Service, on May 30, 1921, a black teenager named Dick Rowland was accused of assaulting a white female, Sarah Page, in the elevator of the Drexel Building.
Todd Pendleton Fearing accusations, Rowland fled to his home in Greenwood. He was arrested later that afternoon and taken to jail, but was never charged with a crime, and His alleged accuser was never heard from again.
Todd Pendleton An article published in the Tulsa Tribune on the afternoon of May 31, included racially charged language that also implied Assault. There were also rumors about an editorial that suggested Rowland should be lynched.
Todd Pendleton Just before sunset, a group of white men gathered outside the courthouse where the teen was being held. They demanded Rowland be released to them, only to be turned away.
Todd Pendleton At 9 P.M. a group of 25 armed Black men, many who were WWI veterans, left Greenwood and traveled to the courthouse. They offered assistance to authorities to thwart the lynching of Rowland.
Todd Pendleton By 9:30 p.m., numbers of white men and Black men began to grow outside the courthouse. As tensions escalated, fighting began. Heavily outnumbered, the Black defenders retreated to the railyard and eventually Greenwood.
Todd Pendleton After numerous skirmishes, the fighting stopped. At 5 a.m., a siren reportedly began to sound. Immediately a machine gun started to fire from Standpipe Hill in Greenwood.
Todd Pendleton Simultaneously large numbers or white citizens began an assault on Greenwood. Many of the men deputized to stop the resistance, were involved in the fighting just hours before.
Todd Pendleton A group of white men called the “Home Guard” began breaking into African American homes and businesses. Looting and violence erupted.
Todd Pendleton George Monroe, was five-years old at the time of the massacre and remembers the attacks on Greenwood.
Todd Pendleton House by house, block by block, fire was set to Greenwood. Several survivors recall machine guns and attack by airplanes, shooting and dropping incendiary devices.
Todd Pendleton Eldoris McCondichie remembers fleeing the area and seeking shelter in a chicken coop.
Todd Pendleton Black residents and homeowners continued to fight back. Resisters or anyone discovered with a firearm was shot. Occupants were forced out to be marched to holding areas.
Todd Pendleton The attack on Black Wall Street and the Greenwood neighborhood left nine thousand people homeless. In the end, All that was left were the outlines of once prosperous businesses, and the charred foundations where homes once stood.
Todd Pendleton White people had looted the structures and stolen everything from cars to clothes. News reports shortly after the massacre, put the damage totals at two and a half million dollars. After the riots, the American Red Cross provided tents for residents to live in, but residents, Businesses and churches did not receive any other assistance after the massacre. Many left Tulsa and never returned.
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