Why Weren’t Black Wall Street, Tulsa Race Massacre Taught In Schools?
One of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history took place in his hometown, and State Sen. Kevin Matthews, who now leads the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, never heard a word of it in school.
“That’s a very common experience of a lot of Oklahomans,” said Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma’s state superintendent of public schools.
Many, like Matthews and Hofmeister, were well into adulthood when they discovered a wealthy African American district — nicknamed Black Wall Street — existed in Tulsa and that it had been razed in a spree of white violence.
The Oklahoman surveyed 305 people, nearly all of them Oklahomans, and found 83% said they never received a full lesson on the Tulsa Race Massacre or Black Wall Street in their K-12 school.
Sixty-one percent said they first heard of it through news media. Others learned from family, a friend, or a movie or TV show.