By Scott Ellsworth
Whilst a crows started to assemble outdoor the reformatory in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the night of may perhaps 31, 1921., the destiny of 1 of its prisoners, a tender black male, appeared guaranteed. Accused of trying to rape a white lady, Dick Rowland was once with little question approximately to be lynched.
But in one other a part of city, a small team of black males, a lot of them international warfare I veterans, determined to threat lives for a special imaginative and prescient of justice. prior to it was once far and wide, Tulsa had erupted into certainly one of America's worst racial nightmares, leaving rankings lifeless and hundreds and hundreds of houses and companies destroyed.
Exhaustively researched, 'Death in a Promised Land' is compelling tale of racial ideologies, southwestern politics, and yellow journalism, and of an embattled black community's fight to carry onto its land and freedom. greater than simply the chronicle of 1 of the nation's such a lot devastating race riots, this severely acclaimed research of yank race kinfolk is, especially, a gripping tale of terror and lawlessness, and of braveness, hedonism, and human perserverance.
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Additional info for Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921
For some years my family had been living in Rentiesville, an all-Negro village some sixty-five miles south of Tulsa. I was born there, in the post office, where my father was postmaster, the justice of the peace, president of the Rentiesville Trading Company, and the town’s only lawyer. There was not a decent living in all those activities; and when my father left in February, 1921, to open a law office in Tulsa, the family was to follow in the summer. As my mother completed her teaching stint in Rentiesville that spring, I was as anxious as my brother and sister (our older sister was away in a Tennessee boarding school) to move to the big city.
19 Thus, clearly, there were black Tulsans who were not “looking for trouble,” but were not about to “dodge” should it come their way. III And there was no dearth of “trouble” in Tulsa during the years immediately preceding the race riot. In particular, three incidents warrant our attention, for each of them previewed elements which were to be at work in the spring of 1921. They occurred in 1917, 1919, and 1920, and although only one of them involved racial violence per se, collectively they form a vital section of the necessary backdrop against which the events of the riot must be seen.
Friend” and cleansed their wounds of the tar and feathers. Meanwhile, the police were “taken” back to town from the ravine. That same evening, printed signs appeared at various points around the city of Tulsa, including the train station, on telephone poles, at the IWW hall, and on the door to the law office of Charles Richardson, who had defended the accused men. ’S. DON’T LET THE SUN SET ON YOU IN TULSA. ” Though Chief of Police Lucas stated later that his men were “powerless” against the masked men, and that every precaution had been taken to protect the prisoners, the nine police officers who comprised the escort were surely armed, as even traffic policemen in Tulsa carried guns at the time.