That’s because there have been stories and documentaries for more over a week – as it should be — so people understand the terror that struck the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa a century ago. Today, President Biden is meeting with survivors of the 1921 attack by a white mob that destroyed a prosperous Black neighborhood in Tulsa. Along with destroying a prosperous neighborhood, up to 300 people were murdered. And, then there was nothing that remained, except silence.
Silence certainly has been broken, with numerous stories and documentaries over the past days. The horrible mob, fueled by white supremacy, burned buildings, even dropped bombs on buildings, and ripped up about 35 blocks. And, yes, people died. Last year, in Tulsa, there was a beginning to try to find some of the people who were buried in unmarked graves. Other survivors left town, when the town was destroyed.
Some of us had heard about this monstrous event, but while watching the first episode of Watchmen, on HBO, there was a frightening introduction that dealt with the massacre. And then it was time to dig deep and learn more.
This massacre of this type needs to be known, so it cannot happen again.
Lots of links: A story on NPR discusses three documentaries, but I could only find one of them on YouTube (Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten, which was filled with information on PBS last night). Washington Post writer DeNeen L. Brown was involved in that program and with commentary, and has written a host of stories about the Tulsa Race Massacre. That includes a link to a story about Dick Rowland, who played a role in the disaster, with a twist. The New York Times Sunday Magazine on May 30 printed a story about Greenwood, which covers a lot of bases. A Times’ TV columnist wrote about Watchmen, which amazed me that it kicked off in October 2019 (but 2020 was a lost year). Finally, HBO asked The Atlantic to create a timeline presented as in a comic book style. Very smart, and, yes, sad.