Monday, June 1, 2009

Race Riot Ride

Eighty-eight years ago, the part of downtown Tulsa north of the railroad tracks - including what was then Black Wall Street, as well as the Greenwood neighborhood - was hot with fire and hate. 

The infamous Tulsa Race Riot broke out May 31, 1921 and lasted 16 hours until the first day of June. More than 800 were admitted to area 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 in property damage was caused (in 1921 dollars). Officially, 39 people were slain in the riot, though some estimates chart the death roll much higher - even 3,000.

This part of Tulsa history isn't talked about much - not on my side of town, anyway. 

That's not okay. 

A group of Tulsans have set out to open the conversation about the Tulsa Race Riot. The group hopes to educate and remember as they lead a riding tour tracing the events of the riot. A historian will be on hand to retell the story. 

The ride starts at 6:45 at the Archer/Greenwood intersection. Refreshments will be provided, and don't forget to bring your bike. 

Oh, and if you're a chump, don't bother coming. You won't be allowed. 

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