Nothing will ever make up for the burning of 1,256 homes on May 31–June 1, 1921. Nothing will ever make up for the lives lost in the Tulsa Race Riot. But the University of Tulsa has the considerable resources at its disposal to make a small change for the better.
TU ought to inaugurate a new line of scholarships specifically dedicated to bringing students from in and around historic Greenwood to TU for free.
Though more than 90 years have passed, Greenwood has yet to recover from the destruction wrought upon it by the guns and torches of its white neighbors, the land grab which immediately followed the massacre, and the historical whitewashing which kept its name out of public discussion.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income in zip code 74106, which contains most of historic Greenwood, was $20,246 in 2013. Unemployment was at 16.2 percent. Tulsa County had a median income of $48,181 and unemployment of 7.2 percent.
As the geographical heir to Greenwood, 74106 is the logical place to draw from for this scholarship, but funding should also be available to students from other distressed parts of Tulsa insofar as these areas contended with the same kinds of racial animus that finally destroyed Greenwood.
The scholarship should not necessarily be limited to members of underrepresented groups; it should be limited to applicants who might otherwise be unable to attend TU.
By bringing these young people to study at TU, and by providing them with the opportunity to earn a degree and graduate without debt, TU would be stepping up in its role as a community leader and setting an excellent example for Tulsa.