The Week (US)

In what way?


For 80 years, Oklahoma schools did not mention the destructio­n of Greenwood in teaching local history. It wasn’t until 2002 that the Oklahoma Education Department added the “Tulsa Race Riot,” as it called that event, to the state academic standards, but only as an example of “rising racial tensions” during the period. Even in the Black community, the topic was addressed in whispers, if at all. “It was taboo to speak about it,” said Vanessa Hall-Harper, a member of Tulsa’s city council. “I didn’t even know about the massacre until I was an adult.” In 2019, a commission organized to mark the massacre’s centennial finally convinced the state education department to include lessons on the destructio­n of Greenwood. Still, no attempt has been made to repay families or the community for what was stolen from them. “The historical trauma is real,” said Alicia Odewale, an archaeolog­ist at the University of Tulsa. “That trauma lingers especially because there’s no justice, no accountabi­lity, and no reparation or monetary compensati­on.”

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