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Burning Buildings During Race Riot of 1921

Source: Historical / Getty

The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 has largely been ignored by historians and only the most studious have learned about the tragic event that left hundreds of Black people dead. A mass grave has been unearthed at the site of the so-called riots and is possibly linked to the Black Wall Street area.

For many, their first time hearing of the massacre of Black Wall Street’s prominent Black residents and destruction of their businesses was via HBO’s acclaimed series, Watchmen. The stirring images of the massacre formed the backdrop to a sweeping story rooted in America’s ugly connection to racism towards Black people for the fictional hit show and put a new light on Tulsa, Okla. as a result.

In a report from CBS News, a group of scientists and researchers that have collected and studied data in relation to the events in Tulsa apparently unearthed a large gravesite that could house residents of the all-Black Greenwood district, often referred to as Black Wall Street.

As the outlet reports and other historians have noted, the massacre began after an angry white mob sought street justice against a Black shoe shine worker who was wrongly accused of assaulting a white woman. The white mob clashed with several armed Black men when chaos ensued. Businesses and homes were burned and the mob was lawless in its attack, targeting men, women, and children according to the scant accounts that remain.

If these bodies are indeed connected to the massacre, it would be the first discovery of its kind and would reopen the discussion of one of America’s ugliest instances of racism. As it stands, the full excavation and examination of the bodies wouldn’t happen until next year in the spring.

On Twitter, the hashtag #TulsaRaceMassacre has cropped up and we have those reactions listed below.

Photo: Getty