American History Many Don’t Know: Black Wall Street: The Tulsa Race Riots
The Tulsa race riot, also known as the 1921 race riot, the night that Tulsa died, the Tulsa Race War, or the Greenwood riot, was a massacre during a large-scale civil disorder confined mainly to the racially segregated Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA on May 31, 1921. During the 16 hours of rioting, over 800 people were admitted to local hospitals with injuries, an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire, and $1.8 million (about $21.7 million in 2009 dollars) in property damage was caused.
Officially, thirty-nine people were reported killed in the riot, of whom ten were white. The actual number of black citizens killed by local white militiamen and others as a result of the riot was estimated in the Red Cross report at around 300, making the Tulsa race riot the worst in US history. Other estimates range as high as 3,000, based on the number of grave diggers and other circumstances, although the archaeological and forensic work needed to confirm the number of dead has not been performed.