I think I am finally ready to discuss. #LovecraftCountry "Rewind 1921" on the #TulsaRaceMassacre.

As a Tulsa native...it definitely touched a chord.
So far I have avoided articles and podcasts about the show (and especially this episode) because I wanted to experience it through my own lens first before adding other voices to it.

Here are my thoughts:
1. #TheTulsaRaceMassacre is our 9/11. Imagine what it would be like to watch a graphic reenactment of that day if you lived in NYC or across the river in NJ constantly wondering about where you were at the time and all the "what ifs" the could have changed your life.
Now imagine if 9/11 happened in your back yard and you never knew about it. It wasn't taught in class and it was rarely mentioned.

That happened in Tulsa!

The Massacre is nearly 100 years old but most of it was hidden and ignored until the OKC Bombing in 1995.
There was no memorial until 1997.

The entire 35 square block Greenwood district was burned off the map.

5 hotels.
31 restaurants.
8 doctors’ offices.
2 movie theaters.
4 drug stores.
24 grocery stores.
1000+ homes.

Reduced to ash.

300 Black men and women dead.
Black Tulsans carried the burden, the shame and the history for more than 70 yrs before it received even moderate attention and care.

Within just 2 yrs the OKC Bombing Memorial, construction began & it was included in Oklahoma history books.
It wasn’t until February 2020 that the Oklahoma Department of Education included it in the curriculum! Before then you were lucky to catch a paragraph about it in Oklahoma History class.
2. I can tell that @LovecraftHBO really put in the work to tell Tulsa's story.

If you were paying attention you will notice earlier in the series they referred to is as the "riots" in Tulsa.

This was common.
It was almost always called the 1921 "Tulsa Race Riot" until about 2018. In 2001 the state of Oklahoma created the “1921 Race Riot Commission” to study the event.

We know that branding the attack as a riot was used to deny insurance claims.
While the word riot may have had a different connotation nearly 100 years ago it does imply that it was simply an “outbreak of disorder” and chaos rather than a show of force by those with power against those did not. It was white men who has a 26-to-1 advantage.
It was white men who flew planes and it was white men who used police force to further terrorize Black people.

You'll notice that in @LovecraftHBO and Watchmen that planes were spotted during the attack too.
3. Yes, the attack was on prom night at Booker T Washington H.S. I graduated from BTW in 2008 and hadn't learned this until earlier this year.
4. They mentioned that the attack was because of "That mess with Dick at the Stradford."

This was referring to Dick Rowland a Black man that by most accounts tripped and fell in an elevator, startling the white operator Sarah Page, causing her to scream.
This did NOT happen in a hotel but at Drexel Building at 319 South Main Street.

But here is the detail that most miss. May 30, 1921 was Memorial Day the day that Rowland ran into Page. It wasn't a work day and most offices should have been closed.
It wasn't until the next day (5/31/1921) that Rowland was arrested and taken to the courthouse where the white mob gathered and hell broke loose.
5. Did you notice how many guns Black folk had? That was another key detail.

There were 380,000 Black WW1 veterans who had returned from the war and were much more equipped to defend themselves against lynching and other attacks.
World War 1 also had residual effects in the minds of white people across the country as Black men came back to the states with a sense of pride and tangible skills in organization and mobilization.
In Tulsa many, including Southern Methodist preacher Reverend Harold Cooke would go on to blame the race massacre on the fact that Black men were allowed to serve during the World War 1.
He said the leading cause of the riot was that United States government recognized them as soldiers on the same plane as the white soldier.
The Equal Justice Initiative in their report cited the following in reference to Black WWI veterans: “Because of their military service, Black veterans were seen as a particular threat to Jim Crow.”
There were other key details and tidbits that I spotted on my first watch but I'll let y'all simmer on these for a bit.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Kevin L. Matthews II, MSTC

Kevin L. Matthews II, MSTC Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!