Weird History: What happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921? A mob of 10,000 whites descended on Greenwood, the richest black neighborhood in America, after a black teenager on his way to a blacks-only bathroom stepped on the foot of a white elevator operator. The same flimsy pretext was used for a town’s destruction, including the Florida Rosewood Massacre only two years later.
Greenwood is a historic freedom colony in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As one of the most prominent concentrations of African-American businesses in the United States during the early 20th century, it was popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street“. It was burned to the ground in the Tulsa race massacre of 1921, in which white residents massacred as many as 300 black residents, injuring hundreds more, and leaving 5,000 people homeless. The riot was one of the most devastating massacres in the history of U.S. race relations, destroying the once-thriving Greenwood community.