Tulsa (or Greenwood) Massacre remains the single worst incident of racial violence in America since the Civil War ended. In 1921 Tulsa had around 100,000 citizens — 10,000 of whom were black American and who mostly lived in the Greenwood district of the city. Tulsa was also a city affected by growing racial tensions. Jim Crow laws denied black Americans their civil and political rights and lynching was still common.
On 31 May 1921 Dick Rowland, a black American, was arrested after being charged with assaulting a white woman, Sarah Page (a crime he was certainly innocent of.) A mob descended on the jailhouse, demanding Rowland be handed over to them. The sheriff refused, and groups of black ex-servicemen turned up at the jail and offered to help protect Rowland. When a white man tried to disarm one of the veterans, fighting started. After a night of violence thousands of whites invaded the Greenwood District on 1 June and burned it down. Dozens were killed: the majority of these were black people defending their property, but some of their white assailants also died.
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