• Tulsa Race Riot commission turns tragedy to triumph

    By: Naomi Keitt

    Updated:

    TULSA, Okla. - Quick Facts:

    • During Black History Month, FOX23 honors Tulsa's black heritage
    • Naomi Keitt took a look at the 1921 Race Riot Centennial Commission
    • The commission works to bring development to north Tulsa 
    • Catch the full report on FOX23 News This Morning Sunday at 8:45 a.m. 
    • To donate or help the 1921 Centennial Race Riot Commission, call 405-521-5598

     

    A Tulsa group hopes to turn tragedy into triumph. 

    It began in 1921- Tulsa hosted one of the country's most affluent African American neighborhoods: Black Wall Street. 

    In a 24-hour period, the buildings fell, hundreds died and only ashes remained. 

    >>>More Coverage: Black History Month on FOX23

    Historical accounts say the turmoil began when a young African American man rode an elevator with a white woman. What happened in that elevator remains muddied in various accounts, but it led to 35 city blocks destroyed. 

    Over the course of nearly 100 years, Tulsa worked to take that turmoil and restore what took it. 

    Oklahoma Sen. Kevin Matthews (R-Tulsa) created the 1921 Race Riot Centennial Commission with that mission in mind. He wants the group to bring more development to that part of north Tulsa.

    The ultimate goal? To share with the rest of Tulsa, and the world, the rich legacy that was "Black Wall Street". 

    From Archer and Greenwood to the Shoppes on Peoria and John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, Matthews told FOX23 he hopes by 2021 that the commission captures for Tulsa the history of the past and thriving development . 

    To donate or help the 1921 Centennial Race Riot Commission, call Matthews' office at 405-521-5598


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