Tulsa boomed in the early 1900s due to the discovery of nearby oil. Its population grew rapidly from 1,390 in 1900 to 72,075 in 1920, according to census records. Despite the strictly enforced Jim Crow laws at that time, Greenwood had become a “prosperous, vibrant” district and “an American success story,” according to historian Scott Ellsworth.
But in 1921, that success story was interrupted.
On May 31, Dick Rowland, a Black shoe shiner, was arrested for allegedly assaulting a white woman. She would eventually refuse to cooperate with his prosecution.
That night, a mob of over 1,000 white Tulsans gathered in front of the county courthouse where Mr. Rowland was being held. A boxer, Jack Scott was one of the approximately 75 other Black men who came to protect Mr. Rowland.
A fight broke out. The Black men retreated to Greenwood. The white mob organized an attack, and in the early morning hours invaded and burned Greenwood to the ground.
Read it all (and the 8 other articles as well).
For the past 17 months, a group of WSJ's Black journalists, along with other journalists of color worked on a series of 9 stories examining the economic ramifications of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
I'm extremely proud to share our work. (outside the paywall) https://t.co/oujuQb1r5i
— Kimberly S. Johnson (@KimberlyReports) May 29, 2021