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WATCH: Chronicle: The Grit of Greenwood: 100 Years After Tulsa’s Race Massacre – KOCO Oklahoma City

WATCH: Chronicle: The Grit of Greenwood: 100 Years After Tulsa’s Race Massacre

>> I SAY ALL THE TIME GREENFIELD IS THE OLDEST LARGEST CRIME SCENE IN AMERICA. >> UNCOVERING STORIES 100 YEARS LATER. >> THEY WERE FIRING DOWN ON MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN. WHOLESALE MURDER. >> GREENWOOD, A THRIVING BLACK DISTRICT IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA, DESTROYED IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS. >> GREENWOOD WAS MORE THAN A STREET. GREENWOOD WAS A DREAM. >> INTERVIEWS FROM SURVIVORS NOT SHOWN IN DECADES. >> AIRPLANE CAME AND DROPPED, WE WOULD CALL THEM FIRE BOMBS NOW. SO THAT’S HOW THE BLACKS WERE DRIVEN OUT OF GREENWOOD. >> I LOOKED DOWN AND I SAW TWO TRUCK LOADS OF BODIES GOING BY. >> THEY TRIED TO HIDE IT, COVER IT UP TO MAKE IT LIKE IT WASN’T WAS. >> A BIG PART OF HISTORY SEEMINGLY ERASED FROM HISTORY BOOKS. >> THEN I STARTED FOR THE RESEARCH AND FOUND OUT THAT IT WAS EVEN WORSE THAN WHAT I HAD BEEN TOLD. >> THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE BECOMING LOUD AND CLEAR. >> THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO SAY IT NEVER HAPPENED. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO TODAY SAY IT DID NOT HAPPEN. >> THESE BUILDINGS DIDN’T BURN THEMSELVES DOWN. THESE FOLKS DIDN’T KILL THEMSELVES AND DUMP THEIR BODIES IN MASS GRAVES. PEOPLE DID THAT TO PEOPLE. >> 100 YEARS LATER, MANY IN THE COMMUNITY STILL FEELING THE HURT FROM THAT DARK DAY ON BLACK WALL STREET. >> HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE MASSACRE AND THE DESTRUCTION, THAT FREEWAY IS SITTING ON TOP OF MY INHERENTANCE. >> HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? IT REALLY JUST TAKES ONE SPARK. >> BLACK WALL STREET, THE RISE, THE FALL, THE LEGACY, THE FUTURE, “CHRONICLE: THE GRIT OF GREENWOOD” STARTS RIGHT. GOOD EVENING. I’M JASON HACKETT. SO MANY PEOPLE CALL THESE THE STEPS TO NOWHERE, AND YES, RIGHT NOW INDEED THEY DO LEAD NOWHERE. BUT TRY PICTURE IT. 100 YEARS AGO, THESE LED TO A THRIVING BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD. HOUSES AS FAR AS THE EYES CAN SEE. THEY CAN VISIT YOUR BLACK DOCTOR JUST DOWN THE STREET. YOU CAN VISIT A BLACK GROCERY STORE ACROSS FROM THAT. THIS WAS PERSEVERANCE. THIS WAS BLACK EXCELLENCE. AND THEY CALLED IT GREENWOOD. THE STORY OF GREENWOOD DOESN’T JUST START WITH THE 1921 MASSACRE. TO UNDERSTAND HOW WE GOT HERE, TO TELL THE STORY OF GREENWOOD, YOU HAVE TO GO BACK, WAY BACK. I WANT TO WARN YOU, THE SCARS AND HOW THEY GOT THERE ARE UGLY. BUT IN ORDER TO BETTER OUR FUTURE, YOU HAVE TO LEARN FROM THE PAST. THE STORY OF THE MASSACRE BEGINS WITH ANOTHER SHAMEFUL MOMENT IN OUR HISTORY, THE TRAIL OF TEARS. IN 1930, PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON SIGNED THE INDIAN REMOVAL ACT. THAT ACT FORCED THOUSANDS OF NATIVE INDIANS OFF THEIR LANDS IN THE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES. MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN WERE FORCED TO WALK HUNDREDS OF MILES IN HARSH CONDITIONS TO SETTLE IN SO-CALLED INDIAN TERRITORY. IT’S NOW KNOWN AS OKLAHOMA. HISTORIANS ESTIMATE THAT MORE THAN 15,000 NATIVE AMERICANS DIED OF EXPOSURE, STARVATION, AND EXHAUSTION. MIXED IN WITH THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE REMOVED FROM THEIR LAND WERE THOUSANDS OF BLACK PEOPLE OWNED AS SLAVES BY THE TRIBES. FOLLOWING THE CIVIL WAR, THE TRIBES FREED THEIR SLAVES AND INTEGRATED THEM INTO THEIR COMMUNITIES AND TREATED THEM AS EQUALS. BY 1890, OKLAHOMA WAS TOUTED AS A PROMISED LAND FOR BLACKS. >> IN THE DEEP SOUTH, YOU JUST — YOU DON’T GET IT. IT ISN’T FOR YOU. AND I KNEW THAT, AND NOW WE CHANGE TO FREE DOFMENT JASON: BY 1900, THE BLACK POPULATION GREW TO MORE THAN 50,000 IN THE REGION. GLEN POOL, ABOUT 15 MILES SOUTH OF TULSA, CREATED A POPULATION EXPLOSION. BLACK ENTREPRENEUR O.W. GIRLEE SAW AN OPPORTUNITY IN THIS NEW BOOM TOWN IN 1906. HE MOVED TO TULSA WITH THE IDEA OF STARTING A BRAND-NEW TOWN AND SET ONE STIPULATION. >> MR. GIRLEE GOT 40 ACRES OF LAND, AND HIS STIPULATION WAS ONLY BLACK PEOPLE CAN BUY THIS LAND. JASON: GIRLEE ESTABLISHED GREENWOOD ON THE NORTH SIDE. BY 1907, OKLAHOMA BECAME A STATE, AND BLACK PEOPLE QUICKLY REALIZED THEY WERE BEING TREATED LIKE SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS. DESPITE THE FACT THAT BLACK PEOPLE DID NOT DIRECTLY BENEFIT FROM THE OIL BOOM, THE TRIBBLING-DOWN EFFECT SAW A LOT OF WORK OPPORTUNITIES FOR BLACK PEOPLE >> A MAN COULD WORK AT A BUS BOY, A WAITER. JASON: ONE YEAR LARKTE THE OKLAHOMA STATE LEGISLATURE PASSES OPPRESSIVE JIM CROW LAWS MANDATING STRICT SEGREGATION BETWEEN BLACK SANDEEM WHITE PEOPLE >> BECAUSE BLACK PEOPLE SEGREGATED TO JUST ONE PART OF THE CITY, A BIG BIT OF THE BUSINESS DOLLARS THAT WERE BEING SPENT WOULD BE SPENT IN THE GREENWOOD DISTRICT. BECAUSE OF NECESSITY, PEOPLE WERE SPENDING THEIR MONEY IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES, WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE AWESOME FOR THE PEOPLE OF TODAY TO RECALL. JASON: SOON GREENWOOD BECAME A MECHANIC A. WHITE PEOPLE TROFEREDE IT AS LITTLE AFRICA, BUT BLACK PEOPLE HAD A DIFFERENT NAME FOR IT. >> WE HAD OUR OWN BUSINESS, AND WE HAD OUR OWN THEATER AND GROCERY STORES, HAVE BUSINESS OF ALL KIND, BECAUSE WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO MUCH TRINGS IN DOWNTOWN. >> GREENWOOD IS NOT JUST ONE BLOCK. THAT’S A BIG ONE THERE THAT PEOPLE THINK, WELL, IT’S JUST ONE STREET. WELL, IT WAS MULTIPLE BLOCKS OF PEOPLE WHO HAD EVERYTHING IN TERMS OF WITHIN THE VINTS WHERE THEY COULD GO. JASON: AS THE CITY GREW, SO DID TENSIONS AND RESENTMENT. THE KU KLUX KLAN BEGAN TO RESURGE IN THE EARLY 1900’S, AND THERE WAS THEN THE RED SUMMER. IN 1919, A WAVE OF RACIST, WHITE MOB VIOLENCE TERRORIZED BLACK PEOPLE IN THREE DOZEN CITIES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING TULSA. >> THERE WERE SO-CALLED RACE RIOTS. THEY WERE GOING AROUND THE COUNTRY. THIS IS WHERE BLACK PEOPLE WERE BEING BURNED DOWN AND RUN OUT OF CITIES. TULSA HAD A LOT OF WHAT THEY CALL SUNDOWN TOWNS. IT HAD SIGNS, VERY OPEN, DON’T BE IN TOWN AFTER SUNDOWN. SO THE KLAN WAS ACTIVE. THE PEOPLE IN GREENWOOD WERE PROSPERING. JASON: BUT THE NEW BLACK AMERICAN DREAM WAS SITTING ON A POWDER KEG. >> BECAUSE OF THAT PROSPERITY THAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE COMMUNITY, THAT ALSO BECOMES A TENSION OF JEALOUSY, A TENSION OF YOU’RE NOT IN YOUR PLACE AND YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, AND I DO WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT IT’S NOT EVERYONE SAYING THIS. YOU ALWAYS HAVE A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO ARE JEALOUS, WHO ARE ANGRY, WHO FEEL THAT YOU’RE DOING MORE THAN WHAT YOU SHOULD, AND SO THIS IS BASED ON RACE. SOLELY BASED ON RACE IN SAYING WHEN WE TALK ABOUT GENOCIDE, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT A GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS WHO FELT THAT THIS PARTICULAR RACE NEEDED TO BE OUT OF THE WAY, NEEDED TO BE GONE, DID NOT NEED TO BE IN THAT COMMUNITY, AND THEY WANTED TO PURGE IT. SO HOW DID THIS SNAP IT REALLY JUST TAKES ONE SPARK. >> THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED DURING AN 18-HOUR PERIOD. JASON: 18 HOURS. THAT’S ALL IT TOOK. THE EARTH HAD NOT EVEN FULLY TURNED ON ITS AXIS BEFORE THIS PROMINENT PART OF BLACK HISTORY NEAR AMERICA WAS DESTROYED. >> 18 HOURS AND PEOPLE’S LIVELIHOODS JUST COMPLETELY UPROOTED LIKE THAT. I IMAGINE JUST IN THOSE 18 HOURS, JUST CHAOS ON THE GROUND. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU CAN KIND OF PAINT A PICTURE IN TERMS OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE FOR BLACK PEOPLE LIVING THERE. WAS IT JUST A CONSTANT STATE OF FEAR? FOLLOWING THE RED SUMMER OF 1919, THERE NEEDED TO BE AN IGNITER OR AN EVENT TOSSED ON THE EMBERS. AND THAT TRIGGER EVENT HAPPENED ON MAY 30, 1921. IT WAS AN INCIDENT THAT INVOLVED TWO TEENAGERS. >> IT WAS A SHOE SHINE BOY. THEY THINK HE WAS 19 YEARS OLD, AND THERE WAS A SARAH PAGE, WHO I BELIEVE WAS 17 YEARS OLD, A DIVORCEE. THEY WERE IN AN ELEVATOR IN A DOWNTOWN BUILDING. >> AND HE’S GOING INTO THE ONE PLACE, THE DREXEL BUILDING, WHERE HE CAN GO TO THE RESTROOM. SHE OPENS IT. HE GETS IN, APPEARS TO HAVE STUMBLED, AND THE WALKWAY BETWEEN THE OUTSIDE OF THE ELEVATOR AND GETTING ON, STUMBLES, AND GRABS HER HAND, SHE SCREAMS, MAYBE HIT HIM, AND IN RESPONSE TO “YOU’RE ON ME,” WHATEVER, AND SOMEONE HEARS THIS. SO THEY HEAR THIS, AND THIS IS REPORTED AS AN ATTACK. SO THIS CREATES THE NARRATIVE GOING THROUGH THE COMMUNITY THAT A BLACK MAN HAS ATTACKED A WHITE WOMAN. >> AN EMPLOYEE CALLED THE POLICE, AND SHE SAID, ACTUALLY, I’VE BEEN ASSAULTED. JASON: THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER HERE, THE “TULSA TRIBUNE,” RUNNING THIS ARTICLE CLAIMING ROLAND HAD ASSAULTED THE 17-YEAR-OLD WHITE ELEVATOR GIRL. PAGE HAD REFUSED TO PRESS CHARGES, BUT THE ARTICLE READ LIKE A CALL TO ACTION, WITH THE HEADLINE SAYING “NAB NEGRO FOR ATTACKING GIRL IN AN ELEVATOR.” BUT MANY SURVIVORS REMEMBER A SECOND ARTICLE IN “THE TRIBUNE” THAT DAY. >> “THE TRIBUNE” HAD COME OUT AND TALKED ABOUT THE INCIDENT, THE SHOE SHINE BOY IN THE ELEVATOR, IN THE DREXEL BUILDING. AND IT LOOKS LIKE THERE WILL BE A LYNCHING TONIGHT. >> NOTES WERE PUT ON PEOPLE’S HOUSES ALL THROUGHOUT NORTH TULSA AND SURROUNDING COUNTIES THAT SAID, YOU BE OUT OF TOWN BY MAY 30 OR ELSE. JASON: TO DATE, NO COPIES OF THE SECOND ARTICLE HEADLINE EXISTS ANYMORE. IN FACT, ALL MICROFILM COPIES OF THE “TULSA TRIBUNE” FROM THAT DAY HAVE BEEN PURGED. ADDING TO THAT CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE. NO MATTER WHAT THE HEADLINE SAID, IT INFLAMED A LARGE CROWD AT THE COURTHOUSE WHERE ROLAND WAS. >> THE WHITE COMMUNITY COMES IN BIG NUMBERS WHEN HE’S ARRESTED YOU BECAUSE OF THIS, AND THE BLACK COMMUNITY COMES AND BASICALLY THERE’S A BLACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE COMMUNITIES OF GO HOME, WE’LL TAKE CARE OF THIS, AND THIS CONCERN THAT MAYBE THIS WILL NOT BE TAKEN CARE OF IN THE RIGHT WAY. AND THERE WERE LYNCHINGS THAT PEOPLE, BUT FOR WHITES FOR LAW BREAKING, SO THE BLACK COMMUNITY IS CONCERNED, AND THEY’RE WANTING TO WATCH OUT FOR DICK ROLAND. NOT NECESSARILY BECAUSE THEY LOVED DICK ROLAND, BUT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO SEE ANOTHER BLACK PERSON WHO WOULD BE LYNCHED FOR SOMETHING THAT HE DID NOT DO. AND THOSE WHO DID KNOW HIM SAID THIS WAS NOT SOME KIND OF CHARACTER THAT HE WOULD HAVE. JASON: THE TWO GROUPS WOULD MEET IN MAY HEM. A SURVIVOR DESCRIBES BEING CONFRONTED BY THE WHITE MOB. >> THEY SAID WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT? I’M GOING USE IT. AND HE SAID NO, YOU GIVE IT TO ME. AND HE TRIED TO TAKE IT FROM THIS FELLOW. AND THEY STARTED TO SHOOT. JASON: NEWSPAPERED CLAIMS ONLY BLACK PEOPLE WERE ARMED, BUT THE ONLY PERSON TO BE WOUND BY GUNFIRE WAS A BLACK MAN. THAT MAN SHOT IN THE ABDOMEN, WRITHED IN PAIN WHILE A WHITE MOB BLOCKED MEDICS FROM TAKING HIM TO A HOSPITAL. ONLOOKERS WOULD WATCH AS THAT MAN DIED IN THE STREET. LESS THAN 100 FEET AWAY, THE BODY OF ANOTHER BLACK MAN WAS FOUND LYING IN THE STREET. THAT STORY TOLD BY ED MILLER, WHO WAS JUST ARRIVING FOR, WHO THE MASSACRE BEGAN. >> WENT AROUND THE CORNER, BEHIND ME, HE’S TRYING TO GET IN, TOO. BOTH TRYING TO MAKE THE SAME DOOR, NO LUCK. AND I SAID, I THINK I’LL GO AHEAD, TRY THAT THROUGH THE ALLEY. THAT TIME SOME FELLOW CAME AROUND THE CORNER AND PULLED A GUN DOWN THERE, AND I SAID, HEY, I’M WHITE, I KNOW YOU’RE SHOOTING AT THE BLACK MAN, AND GIVE ME A CHANCE, YOU’RE AROUND THE ALLEY. SO MAKE IT SNAPPY, SO I DID. BY THAT TIME THE BLACK BOY, HE DECIDED HE’D CROSS OVER TO THE OTHER ALLEY, AND HE GOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET, BUT THEY SHOT HIM RIGHT ON THE STREET CAR TRAFFIC JASON: THEN THINGS WENT FROM BAD TO WORSE IN A FEW MINUTES. >> AND THERE’S A HILL HERE, BUT THERE WAS A MACHINE GUN ON THE HILL, AND THEY WERE FIRING DOWN ON MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN. WHOLESALE MURDER. JASON: IN THE MIDST OF THE MASS KERK THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ST. MARY’S CATHOLIC SCHOOL WERE HAVING GRAD BASER IS MOFPBLESE >> ALL THE SUDDEN WE HEARD ALL THESE SHOTS, AND THEY WERE SHOOTING THROUGH THE WINDOWS, CHARREDS OF GLASS CAME DOWN, AND WE WERE JUST SCARED TO DEATH. JASON: RUTH WOULD BECOME A VITAL PART IN TELLING THE STORY OF WHAT HAPPENED IN TULSA ON THAT DAY. >> AND I HEARD THIS PECULIAR, HEAVY MOVEMENT OF CARS THAT WASN’T ORDINARY, AND I LOOKED OUT AND SAW TWO TRUCKLOADS OF BODIES GOING BY. JASON: EVEN THE BLACK CHURCHES WEREN’T SPARED. RUMORS SWIRLED ABOUT AMMUNITION BEING STORED AT MOUNT ZION BAPTIST CHURCH. >> WE PULLED UP, AND THAT CHURCH WAS BUILT, BIGGEST, THAT CHURCH WAS BUILT TO WORSHIP AND PRAISE GOD, AND WE’D HAVE A DECENT PLACE TO WORSHIP. JASON: AND THAT CHURCH DEDICATED JUST A MONTH BEFORE GUTTED. THE ENTIRE TULSA POLICE DEPARTMENT WAS CALLED OUT. THEY’RE STATIONED BETWEEN SCOMBLACK WHITE TULSA. THEIR ORDERS, PRETTY SIMPLE. KEEP THE BLACK PEOPLE FROM COMING BACK INTO WHITE TULSA. MEANWHILE, THE OKLAHOMA NATIONAL GUARD WAS POUT STANDBY. A TELEGRAM SENT TO THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES IN OKLAHOMA CITY. IT READ A RACE RIOT DEVELOPED HERE, SEVERAL KILLED, UNABLE TO HANDLE SITUATION, REQUEST THAT NATIONAL GUARD FORCES BE SENT BY SPECIAL TRAIN, SITUATION SERIOUS. AS THE NATIONAL GUARD MADE ITS WAY TO TULSA BY TRAIN FROM OKLAHOMA CITY, A FIERCE GUN BATTLE WAS RAGING IN GREENWOOD. A MASSACRE SURVIVERS A WORLD WAR I VETERAN. HE SERVED WITHOUT FIRING ONE SHOT. HE ONLY RETURNED TO OKLAHOMA TO BE ENGAGED IN A MORE VICIOUS BATTLE. >> IT HIT THE WOOD AND THE SPLITTERS WENT INTO MY ARM. EVERY BLOCK OR TWO WE’D SMEE CAPTAIN OF THE GROUP THAT SAID GET YOUR HANDS UP. JASON: WITH HANDS HELD HIGH, PEOPLE WERE CORRALED LIKE ANIMALS INTO THE CONVENTION HALL. THAT YOU WILL WHILE PLANES WERE BEING USED AS WEAPONS AGAINST THEM. >> I’VE COME TO AN AGREEMENT. ON THE PAVEMENT. >> AIRPLANE CAME AND DROPPED, I GUESS WE WOULD CALL THEM FIRE BOMBS NOW, GASOLINE IN JUGS AND SET THEM AFIRE, YOU KNOW? JASON: MANY REFUTE THE CLAIMS THAT PLANES WERE USED, BUT HISTORIANS ARE CERTAIN SOMETHING WAS BEING DROPPED FROM THE SKY. >> WE CALL IT TURPENTINE, YOU CAN CALL IT A BOMB, YOU CAN CALL IT INCENDIARY DEVICES. IT WAS SOMETHING THAT CAUGHT FIRE. I THINK I THINK SENDING IT TO A DIFFERENT DIRECTION FROM THE REALITY THAT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT WE’RE ATTACKING WITH AIRPLANES A COMMUNITY WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. WE’RE ATTACK OUR OWN. AND THIS IS A DOCUMENTED EXAMPLE WHERE RACISM CREATED THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WHERE WE ATTACKED ANOTHER COMMUNITY THAT WAS OUR OWN, AND IT HAPPENED IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA. IN 1921. JASON: BY MIDDAY ON JUNE 1, BLACK WALL STREET HAD BEEN DESTROYED. BY DEFINITION, DESTROY NEENS PUT AN END TO THE EXISTENCE OF SOMETHING BY DAMAGING IT OR ATTACKING IT. ANOTHER DEFINITION IS TO “RUIN EMOTIONALLY OR SPIRITUALLY.” THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED IN THE GREENWOOD DISTRICT OF TULSA. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE THING — THE SPIRIT OF GREENWOOD WOULD PERSEVERE THROUGH THE ATROCITY THAT WAS BESTOWED UPON THEM, BUT WE’LL GET TO THAT. THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS MASSACRE WOULD NOT END WITH 18 HOURS OF HORROR. THEY WOULD GO ON TO HAUNT SURVIVORS FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS. THE WODSE OF LOVED ONES NEVER RECOVERED. THOSE WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE PART OF THE AMERICAN DREAM, LIVING REAL-LIFE NIGHTMARES, AND THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE BECOMING THEIR REALITY. JASON:: WEDNESDAY, JUNE, IS THE VIOLENCE HAD FINALLY STARTED TO SUBSIDE. MARTIAL LAW WAS DECLARED. BY MIDDAY, GREENWOOD HAD BEEN EMPTIED OF ALL BUT A HANDFUL 6 ITS RESIDENTS. BLACK TULSAIANS TRYING TO ESCAPE THEIR BURNING COMMUNITY AND WERE MARCHED BACK INTO THE CITY TO BE DETAINED. >> WE LEFT OUR HOME. WE WENT NORTH. WE KEPT GOING NORTH. AND THEN THE MILITIA CAME. THEY CAME. THEY BROUGHT US BACK. JASON: THROUGH THE AFTERNOON AND INTO THE NEXT DAY, NATIONAL GUARD PATROLS WOULD PICK UP GREENWOOD RESIDENTS AND TAKE THEM TO DETAINMENT CAMPS. >> THEY TOLD US GO THROUGH THE LINE. THEY PUT US DOWN IN ONE OF THE LIVESTOCK STALLS. JASON: EVERYWHERE YOU WENT, THERE WERE SCENES LIKE THIS. 4,000 BLACK DETAINEES SUBJECT TO HARASSMENT AND HUMILIATION. AND TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY, SOME OF THEM WERE EVEN ROBBED OF THE VALUABLES THEY WERE ABLE TO STUFF INTO THEIR POCKETS BEFORE THEY HAD TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES. A FEW FOUND REFUGE IN THE HOMES OF WHITE EMPLOYERS, AQUITE A BITANCES, AND EVEN THE CHURCHES, INCLUDING THE HISTORIC VERNON CHAPEL A.M.E. CHURCH. THE REND THAT HAVE CHURCH SHOWING US THE BASEMENT, ONE OF THE STRUCTURES STILL STANDING FROM THE MASSACRE. >> CAME THROUGH THESE WINDOWS TO HIDE OUT. JASON: MANY DETAINEES REMAINED AT THE DETAINMENT CAMP FOR WEEKS MUCH THEY WERE HELD UNTIL A WHITE PERSON COULD VOUCH FOR THEM, AT WHICH POINT THEY WERE GIVEN A CARD TO WEAR ON THEIR CLOTHES. >> THIS BADGE SAID POLICE PROTECTION. PUT THIS BADGE ON THERE, AND I WALKED TO THE GATE, JUST OPENED THE GATE AND LET ME OUT. JASON: THOSE WHO REMAINED WERE REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THEIR MEALS, EITHER OUT OF POCKET OR BY DOING VARIOUS TASKS, INCLUDING CLEANING UP THE DEBRIS IN GREENWOOD. >> THEY JUST SAW BODIES. DECAYING IN THE STREETS. THEY JUST SAW BLOOD FLOWING DOWN GREENWOOD. JASON: ONE OF THE MOST PROMINENT TULSAIANS KILLED WAS DR. A.C. JACKSON. THE 40-YEAR-OLD SURGEON HAD A HOME THAT SITS RIGHT WHERE I STAND RIGHT NOW HERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GREENWOOD DISTRICT. HIS NEIGHBOR WAS A PROMINENT JUDGE AT THE TIME WHO SAW THE ENTIRE THIFPBLGT HE SAYS DR. JACKSON HAD HIS HANDS UP IN THE AIR READY TO SURRENDER WHEN HE WAS SHOT BY THE WHITE MOB. THE NEIGHBOR WHO WAS ALSO WHITE SAID THAT IT WAS “COLD-BLOODED MURDER.” AND DR. JACKSON’S KILLERS WERE NEVER FOUND. MEANWHILE, THE STORY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN TULSA WOULD MAKE NATIONAL HEADLINES. MANY ARTICLES POINTING TO BLACK TULSAIANS AS THE CAUSE. WHILE OTHERS BLAMED POOR WHITES AND EVEN MEXICANS. ON JUNE 25, JUST TWO WEEKS AFTER THE MASSACRE, A GRAND JURY WOULD ULTIMATELY BLAME EVERYTHING ON BLACK PEOPLE AND CITY OFFICIALS. ONLY ONE MAN WOULD BE CHARGED IN THE RIOT. THAT MAN, BLACK. AS FOR THE TWO TEENS THAT SPARKED THE TRAGEDY, THEY LEFT TULSA AND NEVER LOOKED BACK. IN THE END, ONLY ABOUT 30 DEATH CERTIFICATES WERE ISSUED. BUT THE MORE WE LEARN ABOUT THIS TRACK DEERK THE MORE WE REALIZE THAT THOUSANDS WERE INJURED AND HUNDREDS WERE KILLED. IN THE MITHS OF ALL OF THIS, GREENWOOD DISTRICT RESIDENTS WHO ONCE HAD A STABLE HOME WERE FORCED TO LIVE IN TENT CITIES, AND THOUGH REPORTS FROM 1921 SHOW JUST A FEW HUNDRED HOMES WERE STROIRKED THE TRUTH OF IT IS MUCH WORSE. >> THEY SPEAK ABOUT ANYWHERE FROM 3,000 TO 5,000 BEING DISPLACED IN THE DAYS THAT THE MASSACRE WAS. THIS WAS NOT A SINGLE DAY EVENT. THE HOUSES WERE SYSTEMATICALLY LOOTED, THEN BURNT TO THE GROUND. JASON: TRYING TO PUT TRAGEDY BEHIND THEM, BLACK TULSA ANS WANTED TO BRING GREENWOOD BACK TO ITS FORMER GLORY, BUT THAT WOULD BE DIFFICULT. >> THIS WAS AN AREA THAT WAS INTENT ON REBUILDING. >> WE COULDN’T PUT UP THE TYPE OF BUILDINGS THAT WE WANTED TO START WITH, BECAUSE — FROM THEN ON, IT WAS JUST A MIRACLE THAT IT HAPPENED. THERE’S NOBODY IN THE WORLD I DON’T THINK COULD HAVE MADE A COMEBACK LIKE THE BLACK FOLKS OF TULSA, BECAUSE THEY HAD NOTHING IN THE WORLD TO HELP THEM. JASON: GREENWOOD RESIDENTS WERE ABLE TO PATCH UP SOME OF THE WOUNDS, BUT BIT 1950’S AND 1960’S, GREENWOOD STARTED TO SHOW THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF DESEGREGATION. YOU WOULDN’T THINK SO, BUT DESEGREGATION BECAME A SORE SPOT. GREENWOOD DISTRICT RESIDENTS STARTED SHOPPING DOWNTOWN AT WHITE BUSINESSES. >> WHEN THE WHITES FOUND OUT, THE GREENWOOD DOLLAR WAS JUST AS GREEN AS THE GREEN AS THE DOLLAR ACROSS THE TRACK. THEY STARTED A CAMPAIGN TO OPEN UP. THEY STARTED A CAMPAIGN TO ATTRACT THE BLACK DOLLAR, SO TO SPEAK. JASON: IN THE 1970’S, URBAN RENEWAL WOULD DESTROY WHAT WAS LEFT. >> HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE MASSACRE, HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR URBAN RENEWAL COMING IN AND LEVELING ALL THE SCOMMOMES BUSINESSES, WHAT WOULD GREENWOOD LOOK LIKE TODAY? AND MY RESPONSE WAS LIKE, ATLANTA. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH BIGGER. JASON: THE SCARS OF THE MASSACRE WOULD CONTINUE FOR TULSA. THE SADNESS, THE SHAME, THE TRUTH, IT WOULD BE HIDDEN FOR DECADES. >> IT’S NOT IN THE HISTORY BOOKS. A LOT OF THINGS I HEARD MADE ME ANGRY. HOW CAN THAT BE? I THOUGHT THEY WERE MAKING THIS STUFF UP. JASON: THIS PART OF HISTORY NOT BEING TAUGHT. IN FACT, THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE WAS SO PROMINENT, MANY HERE IN OKLAHOMA DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN THEIR OWN STATE ON THESE GROUNDS. JASON: FOR DECADES, NO ONE WOULD TALK ABOUT THE ATROCITY THAT IS REDUCED THIS COMMUNITY TO ASHES IN 1921. SO THE QUESTION IS HERE, HOW CAN A MASSACRE THAT KILLED SO MANY PEOPLE RUIN SO MANY LIVES AND DEVASTATE THE TOWN AND REMAIN SO HIDDEN? SO FORGOTTEN. >> MY NAME IS LLOYD WARE. I’M A RETIRED TEACHER FROM THE SCHOOL FOR 34 YEARS. JASON: I FOUND MR. WARE GIVING A TOUR A FRIEND AT JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN REC SIMILAR ASIAN PARK IN GREENWOOD. THE PARK SERVES AS A MEMORIAL TO THE MASSER AND A TRIBUTE TO THE ROLE OF BLACK PEOPLE IN BUILDING THIS STATE. THIS AFTERNOON, MR. WARE WAS A TEACHER ALL OVER AGAIN, AS AN EDUCATOR IN TULSA. MR. WARE SAW THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE FIRSTHAND. >> IT’S NOT IN THE HISTORY BOOKS. BUT YOU CAN FIND THINGS ABOUT WHAT WASHINGTON DID, WHAT LINCOLN DID, WORLD WAR I, WORLD WAR II, THE CIVIL WAR, BUT TO EXPOSE OUR TELL SOMEONE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN A COMMUNITY, THAT COULD BE AN EMBARRASSMENT, IT’S NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU’RE GOING READILY SHARE. IT’S SOMETHING THAT YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE FORCED TO SHARE BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE EXPOSING IT. JASON: AS THE EXPRESSION GOES, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. BUT HAS THAT POWER TRANSLATED TO ACKNOWLEDGING ONE OF OKLAHOMA’S DARKEST CHAPTERS? >> IF YOU IGNORE THE PROBLEM, IT DOESN’T GO AWAY. GOT TO ACKNOWLEDGE, THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME SOUL SEARCHING. YOU KNOW, THAT WAS A PERIOD OF TIME, YES. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? HOW MUCH PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE IN 100 YEARS? JASON: 100 YEARS, MOST OF IT A CENTURY OF SILENCE. EVEN FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE CALLED OKLAHOMA HOME FOR THEIR WHOLE LIVES. >> IT WAS NEVER TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOL. I REMEMBER IN HIGH SCHOOL, BACK IN THE 1980’S, THAT IT WAS IN THE OKLAHOMA HISTORY BOOK, ONLY FOR ABOUT A PARAGRAPH OR TWO. BUT THE HISTORY OF THE KLAN WENT ON FOR CHAPTER AFTER CHAPTER AFTER CHAPTER. JASON: HE SAYS BOTH RACE HIGH SCHOOL THEIR REASONS TO KEEP THE MASSACRE HIDDEN. >> WHITE FOLKS DIDN’T TO WANT TALK ABOUT IT BECAUSE IT WAS A BLEMISH, A STAIN ON A CITY THAT WAS TRYING TO BUILD UP ITS IMAGE, AND SO NOBODY TALKED ON THAT COMMUNITY. THE BLACK FOLKS DIDN’T TALK ABOUT IT BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THOSE PEOPLE WHO COMMITTED THE ATROCITY WERE STILL AROUND, AND THEY WERE THREATENED ANOTHER MASSACRE HAD ANYBODY TALKED IT UP AGAIN. AND SO YOU HAD THESE COMMUNITIES SEPARATED, BUT TOGETHER THEY WERE SILENT. JASON: ROSS HAS DEDICATED HIMSELF TO TELLING THE STORIES OF MASSACRE SURVIVORS. I MET WITH HIM AT THE MEMORIAL DEDICATED TO THE HUNDREDS OF BUSINESSES THAT WERE DESTROYED. THAT INCLUDES THE STORIES OF HIS OWN FAMILY. >> ISAAC EVANS, STOOD RIGHT OVER THERE. PRETTY MUCH WHERE THAT GOLD SIGN IS. JASON: THAT LOUNGE ONCE BELONGING TO HIS GREAT-GRANDFATHER ETCHED INTO HISTORY. NOTHING LEFT TO SHOW FOR IT BUT A NAME CARVED IN STONE. >> WHO’S TO SAY, HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE MASSACRE AND THE DESTRUCTION, THAT FREEWAY IS SITTING ON TOP OF MY INHERENTANCE. THAT COULD BE MINE TODAY. HAD IT NOT BEEN GONE THROUGH THIS DESTRUCTION. JASON: IN THAT MOMENT, I LEARNED JUST HOW DEEP THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE RUNS. WHEN DID YOU FIND OUT? THAT WAS LATER ON IN LIFE? >> YEAH, ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO. I FOUND OUT ABOUT MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER. I DIDN’T KNOW THAT MUCH ABOUT IT. I’M JUST NOW UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF MY FAMILY. I STUDY ANYBODY ELSE’S ROLE, BUT I’M JUST NOW COMING ACROSS MY OWN FAMILY’S ROLE. JASON: SOME DIDN’T JUST TRY TO COVER IT UP, SOME TRIED TO ERASE IT FROM HISTORY COMPLETELY, SOMETHING ONE OF THE ONLY LIVING SURVIVORS, 107-YEAR-OLD VIOLA, TOLD MEMBERS OF CONGRESS SHE WON’T LET HAPPEN. >> I WILL NEVER FORGET THE MOB WHEN WE LEFT OUR HOME. I STILL SEE BLACK MEN BEING SHOT, BLACK BODIES LYING IN THE STREET. I STILL SMELL SMOKE. I STILL SEE BLACK BUSINESSES BEING BURNED. I STILL HEAR AIRPLANES FLYING OVERHEAD. I HEAR THE SCREAMS. I HAVE LIVED THROUGH THE MASS EVERY DAY. I CANNOT FORGET THIS HISTORY. I WILL NOT. JASON: MANY SAY THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE STARTED TO UNRAVEL WITH ANOTHER TRAGEDY HAPPENING JUST 90 MINUTES DOWN THE ROAD, 1995’S BOMBING IN DOWNTOWN OKLAHOMA CITY AT THE ALFRED P. MURRAH BUILDING. A STATE REPRESENTATIVE WAS SPEAKING TO A REPORTER A YEAR LATER. >> AND ONE OF THE REPORTERS WAS TALKING TO MY FATHER AND MADE THE STATEMENT THAT THIS IS THE WORST EVENT THAT HAPPENED ON AMERICAN SOIL, AND MY FATHER HAD TO STOP AND SAY,, NO THE WORST ONE WAS JUST OUR WAY IN TULSA. JASON: THAT STATEMENT PICKED NATIONAL MEDIA INTEREST, AND SOON PEOPLE WHO HAD NEVER HEARD OF THE MASSACRE BEFORE STARTED LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. IN 1997, REPRESENTATIVE ROSS INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO CREATE THE OKLAHOMA COMMISSION TO STUDY THE TULSA RATE RIOTS OF 1921, SAYING “JUSTICE DEMANDS CLOSURE AS IT DID WITH JAPANESE SCOMMERNS HOLOCAUST VICTIMS OF GERMANY.” THE COMMISSION ISSUED ITS REPORT IN 2001, WHICH OUTLINED DAMAGE, POTENTIAL REPARATIONS, AND THE DEATH TOLL. >> WHEN THE REPORTS COME OUT, THE OFFICIAL REPORTS SAYING THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED, THIS HAPPENED IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA, AND WE CAN SEE THE REMNANTS OF THAT, PEOPLE HAD TO ACKNOWLEDGE RATHER THAN SAY IT’S FOLKLORE, THEY HAD TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS WAS REAL. JASON: BUT IT TOOK FOR WHILE TO SCHOOLS TO BEGIN TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE MASSACRE SWFMENT TEACHING THE MASSACRE IS A RELATIVELY NEW THINGS FOR EDUCATORS AREN’T COUNTRY, EVEN TULSA. THIS IS THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN RESOURCE CENTER COORDINATOR FOR THE TULSA CITY COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM. >> IF THE STUDENTS DON’T KNOW, IF THEY’RE NOT TAUGHT, IF THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHITE PRIVILEGE, IF THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW A PERSON IS BEING MADE TO FEEL DIFFERENT OR LESS THAN OR TRYING TO ANYWAY, THEN WE’RE GOING TO HAVE THE SAME ISSUE REPEATEDLY. JASON: PEOPLE LIKE HER WORK TO MAKE SURE THE STORIES ARE NOT FORGOTTEN. >> SO AT THE LIBRARY, WE CREATED 1921 RACE RIOT KITS SEVERAL YEARS AGO WITH THE YWCA SO THE TEACHER WHO SAYS I REALLY DON’T KNOW THOUSAND TEACH ABOUT THE 1921 RACE MASSACRE, I THINK I CAN HELP YOU WITH THAT. WE HAVE EMPATHY KITS FOR TEACHERS WHO SAY, WELL, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO TALK ABOUT IT TO LITTLE CHILDREN. WELL, THAT’S OK. WE GOT SOME CHILDREN’S EMPATHY KITS. JASON: ADVOCATES SAY THAT PUSH TO TEACH SEEMS TO BE HITTING A ROAD BLOCK. >> WE CAN AND SHOULD TEACH THIS HISTORY WITHOUT LABELING A YOUNG CHILDREN AS AN OPPRESS OREGON REQUIRING HE OR SHE FEEL GUILT SISTER SHAME BASED ON THEIR RACE OR SEX. I REFUSE TO TOLERATE OTHERWISE. JASON: GOVERNOR KEVIN STITTS SIGNING A CONTROVERSIAL BILL JUST THIS MONTH. THE HOUSE BILL RESTRICTS WHAT CAN BE TAUGHT ABOUT RACIAL DIVISIONS THROUGH HISTORY IN OKLAHOMA CLASSROOMS. >> THE CONCERN IS THAT THESE CORE PIECES OF OUR HISTORY WON’T BE TOLD TO STUDENTS, AND WE’RE CREATING A SYSTEMIC BARRIER FOR HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS THAT COULD LEAD TO RECONCILIATION AND ENLIGHTENING TO A LOT OF STUDENTS. JASON JRKT BILL GETTING PUSHBACK FROM MANY IN OKLAHOMA CITY. MANY SAYING THEY WILL CONTINUE TO TEACH WHAT HAPPENED IN OUR PAST IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE FUTURE. >> MICROMANAGE. JASON: IN SPITE OF THE SIGNING OF HOUSE BILL 1775, PEOPLE ARE HOPEFUL THAT THE TRUTH IS STARTING TO BE UNCOVERED. BUT IT TURNS OUT THE DEEPER YOU DUG, THE UGLIER THE TRUTH BECAME. LET’S REVISIT THAT 2001 COMMISSION REPORT. BEFORE IT WAS PUBLISHED, IT WAS WIDELY BELIEVED THAT ONLY A FEW DOZEN PEOPLE DIED. BUT THE REPORT ESTIMATED THAT ANYWHERE FROM 100 TO 300 PEOPLE LOST THEIR LIVES T. WENT ON TO SAY, “WHILE THE WHITE RIOT DEAD APPEAR TO HAVE ALL BEEN GIN PROPER BURIALS, LITTLE EFFORT WAS MADE BY THE WHITE AUTHORITIES TO IDENTIFY THE BODIES OF BLACK RIOT VICTIMS.” INDEED, AS BOTH LONG-FOR GONT FUNERAL SANDRORDS DEATH CERTIFICATES WOULD CONFIRM, SOME UNIDENTIFIED AFRICAN-AMERICAN RIOT VICTIMS WERE HURRIED BURIED IN UNMARKED GRAVES AT OAK LAWN CEMETERY. TULSA WAS SITTING ON A BURIED SECRET. DO YOU THINK THAT THERE ARE POTENTIALLY BODIES JUST SPREAD OUT EVERYWHERE? >> YES, ACCORDING TO THE COMMISSION REPORT, I HEAR REPORTS ABOUT BODIES THROWN IN THE ARKANSAS RIVER, VARIOUS PARTS OF THE CITY, EVEN TAKEN OUT OF TOWN. JASON: THE TULSA MAYOR SAYS HIS CITY IS ON A MISSION TO DIG DEEPER. HE SAYS MORE AND MORE STORIES HAVE BEEN UNCOVERED OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, DECADES OF SECRETS FINALLY COMING INTO THE LIGHT. >> PEOPLE ALL RACES, ALL POLITICAL PARTIES, COMING FORWARD AND SAYING, WELL, I’VE NEVER TOLD ANYBODY OUTSIDE MY FAMILY ABOUT THIS, BUT MY GRANDFATHER TOLD ME ABOUT HOW HE SAW BODIES BEING BURIED IN THIS LOCATION, OR MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME A STORY ABOUT HOW SHE SAW BODIES BEING BURIED IN THIS OTHER LOCATION. WE FOUND THERE WAS A WHOLE ORAL HISTORY NEAR TULSA THAT HAD BEEN PASSED DOWN THROUGH FAMILIES, BUT THEY HAD NEVER HAD A PRODUCTIVE OUTLET FOR IT BEFORE. AND SO WE’VE COLLECTED THOSE STORIES, AND THEY’RE REALLY HELPING GUIDE A LOT OF THE SEARCH THAT WE’RE DOING TRYING TO FIND THE MASS GRAVES FROM THE 1921 TULSA RACE MASSACRE. JASON: IT’S THE QUESTION THAT HAUNTS THIS COMMUNITY. ARE THERE UNIDENTIFIED MASS GRAVES BURIED BELOW THESE GROUNDS? NEAR OAK LAWN SEMITEARKS YOU’LL FIND TWO MARKED GRAVES OF VICTIMS, BUT AS YOU TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE HERE IN THE COMMUNITY, AS YOU HEAR THE EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS AND HEAR THE STORIES PASS THE DOWN FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION, IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT NOT ONLY ARE THERE MORE VICTIMS BURIED HERE AT OAK LAWN, BUT POTENTIALLY ACROSS TULSA. >> WE HAD TO GO ON HEARSAY AND SCANNING THE GRAVEYARD. I MEAN, WE WERE ALL OVER THE GRAVEYARD. JASON: THROUGHOUT THIS SPECIAL, YOU’VE HEARD SEVERAL SURVIVORS WHO SAY THEY SAW TRUCK LOADS OF BODIES BEING DUMPED IN PLACES. BUT IT TOOK NEARLY A CENTURY FOR ACTION TO TAKE PLACE. >> THERE WAS ABOUT THREE-QUARTERS OF A CENTURY WHERE IT WAS COVERED UP AND NOBODY TALKED ABOUT IT. AND TO THIS DAY, WE REALLY STRUGGLE WITH UNDERSTANDING AS TO WHAT HAPPENED, WHO IT HAPPENED TO, AND WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A SEARCH FOR THE GRAVES OF THE VICTIMS OF IT THAT STILL HAVEN’T BEEN IDENTIFIED. >> THAT’S WHEN WE WERE ABLE TO LOCATE 12 WOODEN COFFINS AS DESCRIBED IN SOME OF THE NOTES THAT WE DID HAVE. JASON: THEY WERE FOUND NEXT TO THE TWO HEAD STONES. >> WE WERE LOOKING FOR INDIVIDUAL GRAVES, AND THEY’RE DOING TEST EXCAVATIONS OF PEOPLE AND CAME UPON A MASS GRAVE, A TRENCH HAD BEEN DUG INTO THE GROUND. YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE STAIR STEPS THAT WERE DUG DOWN INTO THE GROUND WHEN THEY WERE PLACED. THEY’RE IN A ROW. IN THE GROUND. SO THEY WERE ALL PUT IN AT THE SAME TIME. >> HE’S THE FIRST MAYOR IN 100 YEARS TO EVEN DEALT WITH THE ISSUE OF THE MASS GRAVES. >> THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM WAS, OH, THERE WILL BE A BIG BACKLASH. NO ELECTED OFFICIALS WOULDN’T TOUCH IT. JASON: RESEARCHERS SIGHT AREA IS LARGE ENOUGH TO CONTAIN THE REMAINS OF 30 PEOPLE. SO HOW WILL WE KNOW WHO IS WHO? D.N.A. MATCHING. >> MAYBE IT COULD BE TRACED TO SOME DESCENDANTS OF TODAY, AND THEN ONCE ALL THAT IS DONE, TO GIVE THEM A PROPER PLACE AND A PROPER BURLE. JASON: RESEARCHERS AND GEOLOGISTS HOPE TO BEGIN SCANNING THE GROUNDS OF OTHER POSSIBLE MASS GRAVES. >> THERE ARE REPORTS ABOUT BODIES THROWN IN THE ARKANSAS RIVER, VARIOUS PARTS OF THE CITY, EVEN TAGE TAKING OCCUPY TOWN. JASON: IT WILL SERVE AS THE SITE FOR REIDENTIFIED VICTIMS, WHILE THE CITY SEARCHES FOR A MORE PERMANENT MEMORIAL. >> IT HASN’T BEEN ALL PRAISE AS FAR AS THE SEARCH. THERE HAVE BEEN SOME PEOPLE WHO PUSH BACK AND SAY WHY ARE WE TCHOOG NOW? ARE Y ARE WE SPENDING MONEY ON THIS? JUST LET THE PAST BE THE PAST. TO THAT I ALWAYS TRY TO PERSONALIZE THIS. I MEAN, YOU’RE IN YOUR HOME. PICTURE YOURSELF IN YOUR OWN HOME AT NIGHT, NICE, SUMMER NIGHT, AND ALL THE SUDDEN SOMEBODY RUNS UP TO YOUR DOOR AND SAYS THERE’S A RIOT UNDERWAY FOR YOUR SAFETY, YOU NEED TO COME WITH ME TO GET OUT OF HERE. AND SO YOU GO TO THE CONVENTION CENTER, AND YOU’RE IN THERE FOR FOUR DAYS AND YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE WHAT’S GOING ON OUTSIDE. AND THEN FINALLY YOU’RE ALLOWED TO LEAVE, AND YOU WEAK HOME. ONLY WHEN YOU GET THERE, YOUR WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD IS BURNED TO THE GROUND. YOUR BUSINESS IS BURNED TO THE GROUND. THERE ARE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY MISSING. AND NO ONE EVER FINDS THEM. NO ONE IS EVER PROSECUTED FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU. INSURANCE COMPANIES WON’T PAY CLAIMS ON THE LOSS OF YOUR PROPERTY OR YOUR BUSINESS. I HAVE YET TO HAVE SOMEBODY ARGUE WITH ME ANY FURTHER ABOUT WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT WHEN WE THINK ABOUT IT. JASON: THE NEXT EXCAVATION IS EXPECTED TO LATER SUMMER THIS SUMMER. UNTIL THEN, WHAT ABOUT THOSE DESCENDANTS? WHAT ABOUT REPARATIONS? SHOULD THEY GET THE SAME COMPENSATION NATIVE AMERICANS AND HOLOCAUST VICTIMS HAVE RECEIVED? THAT’S THE CONVERSATION HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. WHAT CAN WE DO NOW TO HELP THE HURT THAT CONTINUES FOR THIS COMMUNITY? TUPE MY IT’S ONE OF THE MOST HISTORIC PLAYS IN ALL OF OKLAHOMA. JASON: IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK, THEY WOULD PROBABLY SCREAM. WE INTRODUCED YOU EARLIER TO DR. ROBBER TURN, FROM THE A.M.E. CHURCH. THE BASEMENT WAS THE ONLY THING LEFT STANDING. WHAT DOES IT SAY THAT IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THAT TERROR, IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THAT WAS GOING ON, THAT BASEMENT SURVIVED? THAT BASEMENT STOOD THROUGHOUT ALL THAT. >> I FEEL IT’S JUST THE DIVINE POWER OF GOD. JASON: IT WAS FATE THAT HELPED GUIDE THE CONGREGATION THROUGH TRACK DEEP. >> THEY JUST SAW BODIES DECAYING IN THE STREETS. THEY JUST SAW BLOOD FLOWING DOWN GREENWOOD. AND THEY CAME BACK FOR COMMUNION. THE NEXT SUNDAY. JASON: REVEREND TURNER NOW LEADS THAT CONGREGATION 100 YEARS LATER, SEEMINGLY CHALLENGING THE SAME CHALLENGE AND PERSEVERANCE. THE REVEREND HAS BECOME ONE OF THE FACES OF A GROWING MOVEMENT IN THE MODERN-DAY GREENWOOD. EVERY WEDNESDAY OUTSIDE OF CITY HALL, YOU’LL FIND HIM WITH A BULL HORN IN HAND, MAKING THE CASE FOR MASSACRE REPARATIONS. >> TULSA, YOU HAVE YET TO PAY FOR YOUR CRIME. JASON: FOR THIS PREACH WARY BOOMING VOICE, GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT THERE IS NOT A PROBLEM. GETTING FOLKS TO LISTEN, HOWEVER. >> WELL, YOU KNOW, WE NEED TO GET OVER THAT. LET’S STOP TALKING ABOUT THAT. IT’S IN THE PAST. WHY ARE YOU BRINGING UP THE PAST? BECAUSE THE PAST HAS NEVER BEEN CORRECTED, RIGHT? THERE IS NO EXPIRATION DATE ON MORALITY. JASON: WE TOOK THE QUESTION OF REPARATIONS TO THE MAYOR. IS THAT SOMETHING HERE IN THE FUTURE COMING DOWN THE LINE, REPARATIONS FOR DESCENDANTS OF THIS MASSACRE? >> THE CHALLENGE I HAVE WITH THAT IS, WELL, WHERE DOES THAT CASH DEPROM? WELL, IT COMES FROM A TAX LEVIED ON THIS GENERATION OF TULSANS, AND I HAVE A HARD TIME WITH FINANCIALLY PENALIZING PEOPLE IN TULSA FOR SOMETHING THAT CRIMINALS DID 100 YEARS AGO. SO I DON’T SUPPORT THAT. >> I SAY ALL THE TIME, GREENWOOD IS THE OLDEST AND LARGEST CRIME SCENE IN AMERICA. IT REALLY IS. UNTIL THEY ACTUALLY DO THAT, IT WILL CONTINUOUSLY BE A STAIN. TO ME, REPARATIONS IS NOT JUST ABOUT A CHECK, IT’S ABOUT DUE PROCESS. IT’S ABOUT JUSTICE. IT’S ABOUT JUSTICE THAT’S BEEN DENIED. JASON: A GROUP OF OKLAHOMANS FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CITY OF TULSA SEEKING REPARATIONS. VERNON A.M.E. IS ONE OF THE PARTIES IN THE SUIT. SCOMM GOES ON TO SAY, REQUESTS A DIRECT AND APPROXIMATELY RESULT OF THE MASSACRE AND THE DEFENDANTS’ CONTINUED UNLAWFUL ACTIONS, BLACK TULSANSS FACE DISPAR ATE TREATMENT AND OUTCOMES WITH RESPECT TO EVERY NEED, JOBS, FINANCIAL SECURITY, EDUCATION, HOUSING, JUSTICE, AND HEALTH QULINGTS. THAT LAWSUIT STILL PENDING. BUT ITS ARGUMENT UNDERSCORES AN ISSUE THE CITY CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE WITH TODAY. THE APPARENT DIVISION BETWEEN WHITE TULSA AND BLACK TULSA. GOING BACK TO THE AFTERMATH OF THE MASSACRE, IT’S IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT GREENWOOD DID COME ROARING BACK AFTERWARDS. >> WHEN&WHEN WE LOOK AT THE 1940 AND 1950 TELEPHONE DIRECTORY, YOU SEE THE BUSINESSES, YOU SEE THE HOMES, THE CHURCHES, ALL OF THOSE POINT TO THERE WERE MORE BUSINESSES, MORE AFFLUENCE AFTER 1921 THAN BEFORE. SO REBUILT AND BETTER, STRONGER. JASON: THAT IS, UNTIL THE URBAN RENEWAL PUSH UNTIL THE 1960’S. HOMES WERE DEMOLISHED TO MAKE WAY FOR HIGHWAYS. LAND WAS CLEARED FOR COLLEGE CAMPUSES. >> WE JUST DIDN’T HAVE A PLAN FOR THE CITY, FOR THE CITY TO SAY WE WANT TO PRESERVE THE HERITAGE. WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE THE HERITAGE TO KEEP GOING. BUT THERE’S ALWAYS BEEN THE SENSE THAT THE CITY WOULD RATHER SAY THREAT DISAPPEAR. JASON: THAT’S WHAT ESSENTIALLY HAPPENED. GREENWOOD TODAY NO LONGER THE 35-BLOCK MAKE THAT IT WAS. CITY LEADERS LIKE MAYOR BYNUM SAY THEY WANT TO TROURN GLORY. >> THERE’S BEEN A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF LAND IN THE GREENWOOD DISTRICT THAT CITY AUTHORITIES HISTORICALLY, OLD URBAN RENEWAL LAND THAT THE CITY SAT ON FOR DECADES. WELL, WE HAVE ACTIVATED THAT LAND, AND WE ARE DEVELOPING A MASTER PLANNING PROCESS THAT NABDSE NEIGHBORHOOD STAKE HOLDERS WILL BE INVOLVED IN AND LEAD THAT PROCESS TO REALLY HELP GUIDE WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE BECOME THE GREENWOOD DISTRICT. JASON: ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS YOU’LL NOTICE SHEER GREENWOOD RISING, BUILT HERE AT THE ENTRANCE TO GREENWOOD. THE STAVET ART MUSEUM WILL HAVE INTERACTIVE EXHIBITS. SEVERAL ART GALLERIES CALLED GREENWOOD HOME, WITH PIECES THAT ACKNOWLEDGE THE PAST AND EMBRACE THE FUTURE OF GREENWOOD. LINCOLN CREATED THIS EXHIBIT CALLED FACES OF GREENWOOD T. INCLUDES THIS WALK-THROUGH EXHIBIT WHICH CHRONICLES AMERICAN HISTORY AND THESE NEVER BEFORE SEEN PICTURES OF LIFE IN GREENWOOD AFTER THE MASSACRE. >> YOU HAVE A TULSA NATIVE. I WENT TO BOOKER T. WASHINGTON HSMS I TAUGHT AT BOOKER T. WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL. AND TULSA REALLY HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOWCASE ALL OF BLACK WALL STREET IN THAT INCREDIBLE CROWN THAT IS OUR CITY, YOU KNOW? WE NEED THAT INCLUSION, AND THE TIME IS NOW. JASON: HOW DO BLACK BUSINESSES FIT INTO PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? JUST DOWN THE STREET, GUY IS THE OWNER OF THE BLACK WALL STREET LIQUID LOUNGE. >> MY WIFE AND I YVETTE WANTED TO ESTABLISH SOMETHING WHERE WE COULD FIND THE BRIGHTEST MINDS FROM TULSA AND HELP AND CULTIVATE ACTIVITIES, BUSINESSES, AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP. JASON: AS THE PUSH TO TRANSFORM GREENWOOD CONTINUES, MANY PEOPLE WONDER IF BLACK PEOPLE ARE BEING LEFT BEHIND, PRICED OUT OF THE AREA THEY BUILT MORE THAN 100 YEARS AGO. >> GENTRIFICATION, IS THAT HAPPENING NOW? >> OH, WITHOUT A DOUBT. WITHOUT A DOUBT. IT’S A PART OF AMERICAN STRATEGY. I DON’T PARTICULARLY LIKE THAT POOR PEOPLE GET DRIVEN OUT, AND THEN CAPITALISTS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT, BUT THAT’S AN AMERICAN SYSTEM. WE CAN COMPLAIN ABOUT IT, BUT IF WE DON’T HAVE A STRATEGY, THEN WE WILL LOSE. SO ALL I’M TRYING TO DO IS BE A SMALL PART OF A STRATEGY AND CREATE CULTURE THAT ALLOWS THE SPIRIT OF OUR FARR MOTHERS AND FATHERS TO BE REBIRTHED, AND MAYBE BIT TIME I’M KICKED OUT OF THIS LIFE, THAT THAT SPIRIT AND ENERGY WILL BE BACK. JASON: MAYOR BYNUM SAYS IT’S A WORK IN PROGRESS FOR THE CITY. HE ALSO KNOWS THAT PEOPLE LEER SKEPTICAL. >> WHAT WE STARTED THE GRAVES PROCESS, WE HAD A CITIZEN OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, BECAUSE BY WAITING 98 YEARS TO START THIS PROCESS, THE CITY HAS NOT EARNED TRUST AND DOESN’T DESERVE IT FROM THE COMMUNITY. WE’RE HAVING A VERY FIRST MEETING OF THAT GROUP, AND PASTOR FOR VERNON A.M.E. CHURCH SPOKE UP AND SARKSDE YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE THAT DID THIS, THAT INCITED THE RACE MASSACRE, THEIR GOAL WAS TO DRIVE BLACK BUSINESS OUT OF THE GREENWOOD DISTRICT. AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE GREENWOOD DISTRICT TODAY, THEY WON. AND I HATED HEARING HIM SAY THAT, BECAUSE HE’S RIGHT. AND I DON’T WANT TULSA TO BE A STWRE THE BAD GUYS WIN. — TO BE A CITY WHERE THE BAD GUYS WIN. WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY, WE CAN’T GO BACK AND CHANGE WHAT’S HAPPENED IN HISTORY, BUT WE CAN FOCUS ON WHAT WE CAN DO TODAY TO RECTIFY THOSE ISSUES AND REBUILD. JASON: THAT’S WHERE TULSA STANDS RIGHT NOW, A CITY REBUILDING FOR THE FUTURE, WHILE STILL WORKING TO ACKNOWLEDGE, ATONE, AND LEARN FROM ITS PAST. PERHAPS THESE WORDS FROM LEGENDARY HISTORIAN, THE LATE JOHN FRANKLIN, SUMS THINGS UP THE BEST. >> HISTORY IS SOMETHING WE MUST LIVE WITH. BOTH GOOD AND BAD. AND THE BAD HISTORY HELPS US OVERCOME IT AND WE CAN THEN PERHAPS MAKE GOOD HISTORY. SO WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE PAST AS IT WAS, AND NOT AS WE WISHED THAT IT HAD BEEN. JASON: WORDS AS TRUE NOW AS THEY WERE ALMOST 40 YEARS AGO WHEN HE FIRST TOLD THEM TO KOCO. DR. FRANKLIN NO LONGER WITH US, BUT HIS LEGACY LIVES ON NEAR TULSA, AS WELL AS THE GREENWOOD DISTRICT. YOU’LL SEE THAT WORD LEGACY A LOT WHEN IT COMES TO GREENWOOD. LEGACY IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE STORY. YOU’LL SEE IT IN THE PLAQUES CEMENTED ALL ACROSS THE DISTRICT. YOU SEE IT IN THE EYES OF DESCENDANTS OF THE MASSACRE’S VICTIMS YOU SEE IT IN THE SYSTEMIC RACISM THAT CONTINUES TO EXIST 100 YEARS LATER. BUT YOU ALSO SEE IN THE STORY TELLERS WHOSE WORDS AND ART KEEP THE STORY OF GREENWOOD ALIVE. YOU SEE IT IN THE BUSINESS OWNERS, PUTTING THEIR HEARTS AND SOULS INTO MAKING BLACK WALL STREET WHAT IT ONCE WAS. YOU ALSO SEE IN GREENWOOD RISING, WHICH WILL BRING THE STORY TO A WHOLE NEW GENERATION, MAKING SURE WE NEVER FORGET THOSE 18 HOURS OF TERROR. MAKING SURE WE DON’T FORGET THOSE 35 BLOCKS OF BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES, CHURCHES, HOMES, HOSPITALS, AND SCHOOLS THAT WERE TORCHED. MAKING SURE WE DON’T FORGET THE LIVES THAT WERE LOST AS THE SEARCH FOR THEIR FINAL RESTING PLACE CONTINUES. GRIT IS HOW GREENWOOD GOT HERE. DETERMINATION IS WHAT HELPED THEM REBUILD. AND WITH THAT SAYING, GRIT, DETERMINATION, AND SPIRIT, IT WILL LEAD THEM INTO THE NEXT 100 SCOMBREERS BEYOND. I’M JASON HACKETT, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

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WATCH: Chronicle: The Grit of Greenwood: 100 Years After Tulsa’s Race Massacre

Greenwood was a thriving Black district in Tulsa when, 100 years ago Monday, it was destroyed in less than 24 hours.A big part of history was seemingly erased from the history books. In recent years, the conspiracy of silence has become louder and more clear.However, 100 years later, many in the community are still feeling hurt from that dark day on Black Wall Street.Tonight on KOCO 5, we uncover stories lost in history and bring you interviews from survivors that have not been shown in decades on KOCO Chronicle: The Grit of Greenwood.Watch the video player above for KOCO Chronicle: The Grit of Greenwood.

Greenwood was a thriving Black district in Tulsa when, 100 years ago Monday, it was destroyed in less than 24 hours.

A big part of history was seemingly erased from the history books. In recent years, the conspiracy of silence has become louder and more clear.

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However, 100 years later, many in the community are still feeling hurt from that dark day on Black Wall Street.

Tonight on KOCO 5, we uncover stories lost in history and bring you interviews from survivors that have not been shown in decades on KOCO Chronicle: The Grit of Greenwood.

Watch the video player above for KOCO Chronicle: The Grit of Greenwood.