Black Wall Street

The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement has refreshed all the past memories of protests and revolutions against the arbitrary rule of the powerful. When we look back, it is clear that this isn’t a new book, but just a new part of the same novel series people have been part of since the time they entered Earth. 

It might be a story of history repeating itself, but the BLM movement has gained momentum, around the same time when there were widespread movements when the officials tried to suppress the black residents in Tulsa, Oklahoma popularly known as black wall street was burned down 99 years ago in 1921. 

The riots snatched many residents’ lives and livelihoods for people who survived the massacre. The massacre was termed the most gruesome massacre in American history. The initial spark was the arrest of a 19-year-old black boy Dick Rowland in late May of 1921. Dick was arrested allegedly for sexually assaulting a white woman Sarah Page, an elevator operator. Angered by the incident, the white residents stationed themselves outside their courtroom. This alarmed the Black population and they believed the teenager had been lynched for no reason at all. Black residents gathered outside the courtroom demanding the sheriff to release Rowland. But, the officials refused, giving way to riots between the white and black residents of the place, both the parties remained armed. The riots slowly died down by early June. The damage the riots caused was brutal. 

The incident was reinvestigated in 1996 and the legislation passed an order to help the survivors, educate people about the incident and develop a memorial park for the people who lost their lives then. It was concluded that it was a mob by white residents against the black residents. This incident became part of American history until recently in early 2020 when it became part of the Oklahoma school curriculum.

The incident might sound very similar to the cause that led to the Black Lives Matter movement. It is a reminder to all of us that with almost a century behind, society has not completely been able to relieve itself from the chains of discrimination. Yet, this time the struggle is a little different with so many people joining in the movement. It is not only the blacks fighting for themselves but everyone part of the movement is condemning an inhumane act. The black wall street has been conveniently forgotten, but the struggle cannot be. We are in a war against the inhumanity and brutality of the people in power, and hopefully, we will come out victorious. 


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