(NBC NEWS) – Just decades after slavery in the United States left Black Americans in an economic and societal deficit, one bright spot stood out in Tulsa, Oklahoma — its Greenwood District, known as the “Black Wall Street,” where Black business leaders, homeowners, and civic leaders thrived.
But 100 years ago, on May 31, 1921, and into the next day, a white mob destroyed that district, in what experts call the single-most horrific incident of racial terrorism since slavery.
An estimated 300 people were killed within the district’s 35 square blocks, burning to the ground more than 1,200 homes, at least 60 businesses, dozens of churches, a school, a hospital and a public library, according to a report issued by Human Rights Watch.
The Williams Building, no.2 on Greenwood Ave., site of the Dreamland Theater, June 1, 1921, in Tulsa, Okla.Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa.
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