I have not previously learned about Black Wall Street in my history classes. This may be because, after the violence in Black Wall Street had occurred, predominantly white media outlets began to characterize the event as a race riot as opposed to a massacre, decreasing the severity of the events for the public and making the event less memorable for the public. Additionally, these outlets actively condemned the Black Wall Street community, with newspapers such as the Tulsa Tribune publishing editorials characterizing the community as a town filled with iniquity and corruption (CNN). Thus, a thriving minority community was left nearly forgotten in a predominantly white society.
The events of Tulsa appear to underscore the notion that discrimination has been a prevalent issue within the United States. Although racial tensions appear to be less integrated within American society today, they nonetheless persist through issues such as police brutality, racial incrimination, and unequal opportunities for education. Likewise, sentiments raised by activists such as Ida B. Wells and W. E. B. Du Bois are applicable to today’s society. For instance, Wells noted the lack of justification for lynching African Americans in the past, a trend that parallels the wide-spread conviction rates of African American males throughout the United States. Furthermore, Du Bois actively spoke out against racial segregation within the United States, which parallels the prevalence of race-specific communities within the nation.
After learning about Black Wall Street, I feel thankful for living in a time that does not carry the degree of overt discrimination characteristic of the pre-Civil Rights era. However, the events of Black Wall Street have made me realize that, although racism has become less of an issue over the years, it nonetheless exists and can manifest in cases of extreme violence.
CNN. (2016, October 04). Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO3Fxe4mDP4