The first time I heard about Black Wall Street was on Watchmen when it aired on HBO earlier this year. Black Wall Street was located in Tulsa, Oklahoma where the businesses flourished and so did the black people who owned them. People were peaceful and happy living their lives, unbothered. Then, June 1, 1921, came and everything changed and would never be the same.
The first episode showed a little black boy in a movie theatre watching a silent movie with a black sheriff, then next thing I know, there’s a full-blown riot outside and people are getting shot in the back trying to run for safety. Everyone had guns and it was like, they had been waiting for this day… like, they were prepared.
Now, I didn’t know what was happening or what was going on, but I continued to watch thinking that this is a period piece and I HATE, no I ABHOR, period pieces. I wasn’t watching for a damn history lesson! Where are the superheroes, the capes, and Regina King?! That’s what I was watching for… so, where are they?
By the time, that scene ended that same little boy had been hidden away in a carriage for safety, but the carriage didn’t make it. It was possibly bombed and the boy and now a baby girl were the only survivors. That was my introduction to Black Wall Street, until I came across this article here.
I know you’re probably wondering, how is it that she’s just now finding out about Black Wall Street? I already knew about that? Well, I’ll tell you. My school didn’t teach us that stuff. Not in history class, not during black history month, and we certainly didn’t have a black history teacher.
So, the only other way I would have learned about it was to read about it on my own or come into contact with someone who knew about it, right? Well, nobody had ever mentioned it in my presence. That’s why when I saw it on Watchmen, I started researching it and came upon so many stories, websites, and pictures that told of what happened that day.
Listen, I don’t know about you… but I just feel a bit uneasy and cheated for my people. It seems like every time they get somewhere and live a little bit, something comes to destroy what they have and they are left with nothing. I know this happened in 1921, but nonetheless, they didn’t deserve to have their hard work and livelihood destroyed over nothing.
I can’t imagine how they felt or even how they dealt with losing family members and their homes/businesses, but that’s what happened. My heart goes out to them even tho many of them are long gone. ❤