“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tulsa in Tulsa County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)

Lynching in America / The 1921 Tulsa Massacre

Community Remembrance Project

The 1921 Tulsa Massacre / Lynching in America Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, April 7, 2021
1. The 1921 Tulsa Massacre / Lynching in America Marker
Lynching in America
Thousands of Black people were the victims of racial terror lynching in the United States between 1877 and 1950. During this era, racial terror lynching of African Americans emerged as a stunning form of violent resistance to emancipation and equal rights for African Americans, intended to intimidate Black people and enforce racial hierarchy and segregation. Although racial terror lynching was most prevalent in the South, it was used to uphold white supremacy and enforce decades of political, social, and economic exploitation, as Black people moved and built communities outside the South, as well. Racial terror lynching became the most public and notorious form of subordination directed at Black people and was frequently tolerated or even supported by law enforcement and elected officials, illustrating the failure of the criminal justice system to afford Black people equal justice under law. White mobs were usually permitted to engage in brutal violence with impunity. It was also common during this era for a lynch mob's focus to expand beyond a specific person accused of an offense and to target any or
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all Black people unfortunate enough to be in the mob's path. In most cases, the communities devastated by this violence never received any resources to repair the harm. The names of many lynching victims were not recorded or remain unknown, but over 76 racial terror lynchings have been documented in Oklahoma.

The 1921 Tulsa Massacre
On May 31 to June 1, 1921, a white mob attacked the prosperous Black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, resulting in the deaths of at least 36 Black Tulsans, the destruction of 36 city blocks, and the displacement of over 10,000 Black people. On May 31, Dick Rowland, a 19-year-old Black teenager, was jailed after being accused of assaulting a white woman. Although the charges were dropped, the local Tulsa Tribune newspaper published an inflammatory story that mobilized a white mob to lynch Rowland. In response, members of the Black community stationed themselves at the courthouse to protect him. Reports indicate that local authorities provided firearms and ammunition to the mob of thousands of white people who began firing at the Black men trying to protect Rowland. When the man retreated towards Greenwood, the mob, joined by city-appointed deputies, pursued them and began terrorizing the entire community, deliberately shooting Black residents, burning homes and buildings. When the Oklahoma National Guard was called to intervene,

The 1921 Tulsa Massacre Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, April 7, 2021
2. The 1921 Tulsa Massacre Marker
they ignored the mob's rampage and instead arrested hundreds of Black survivors. Public officials failed to keep records of Black people who were wounded or killed. While the estimated number of deaths is at least 36, witness accounts report more than 300 Black people were killed. No one was held accountable for Greenwood's devastation. Its only surviving foundation now sits under Vernon AME Church.
Erected 2020 by Equal Justice Initiative and the Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & ReligionCivil RightsCommunications. In addition, it is included in the Lynching in America series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 31, 1921.
Location. 36° 9.679′ N, 95° 59.19′ W. Marker is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in Tulsa County. Marker is at the intersection of North Greenwood Avenue and East Cameron Street, on the right when traveling north on North Greenwood Avenue. Marker is on the grounds of Vernon Chapel AME Church. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 311 N Greenwood Ave, Tulsa OK 74120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Vernon A.M.E. Church (a few steps from this marker); Black Wall Street - 1921 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mabel B. Little Heritage House
The 1921 Tulsa Massacre / Lynching in America Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, April 7, 2021
3. The 1921 Tulsa Massacre / Lynching in America Marker
Marker is outside the Vernon Chapel AME Church.
(about 300 feet away); The Historic Greenwood District (about 400 feet away); John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tower of Reconciliation and Healing Walkway (approx. 0.2 miles away); Booker T. Washington High School (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tulsa.
Also see . . .  Tulsa race massacre (Wikipedia). (Submitted on April 17, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 17, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 393 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 17, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Mar. 4, 2024