Another view of Tulsa Race Massacre

After 10 minutes of technical difficulty and four more minutes of updates about the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, a diverse crowd of roughly 200 joined in a round of applause for New York author and professor Herb Boyd.
Boyd’s lecture was titled “Another View of the Tulsa Race Riot,” which he was able to provide through his own experiencing living through the 1943 Detroit riot.
Boyd told the audience that the racial animus in Oklahoma did not exist in a vacuum. He briefly recapped the history of race relations from the civil war to the return from World War I.
“If you look at the situation here in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921, it’s not at all unique,” Boyd said.
The Tulsa Riot has appeared in several of Boyd’s books, but mostly only as a footnote.
Boyd considered researching Tulsa “a grand opportunity,” to look at a part of American history that is “so often ignored.”
“Many of you who have studied or read about or raised some questions about the whole 1921 riot, you know that for a long period of time there was no discussion,” Boyd said. “We recognize that silence is an erasure of things; not at all productive.”
Boyd recounted first trying to research the Tulsa Riot in 1987, while visiting his wife’s family in Tulsa, and being unable to find anything about the riot whatsoever in the public library.
“When I went into their archives, their files, the whole repository of things there; I encountered newspapers where it had been cut out. The whole story about the Tulsa Riot was not even there,” Boyd said.
Boyd took the opportunity in his research today, to find the less commonly seen actors in the riot.
Boyd’s unique angle focused on a black magazine called “The Crusader” published by the African Black Brotherhood, which claimed to have had a reporter on the scene for the entire 16 hour massacre.
He also quoted several people who may have been eyewitnesses to the riot, including people who recalled the still controversial claim that North Tulsa was bombed during the riot.

Post Author: Kayleigh Thesenvitz