Over Memorial Day Weekend in 1921, a mob of hundreds of white males, together with law enforcement officials and members of the Ku Klux Klan, stormed an prosperous black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, attacking black folks, looting their companies and firebombing their houses.
The incident, now often called the Tulsa Race Bloodbath, left between 100 and 300 black folks lifeless and over 10,000 black folks homeless. It was, in accordance withThe Encyclopedia of Oklahoma Historical past,the one worst incident ofracial violence in American historical past.
And but, American historical past books have largely downplayed or scrubbed the occasion altogether. However the Tulsa Race Bloodbath has been a topic of renewed scrutiny currently, largely due to its astonishing depiction within the pilot episode of HBO’s Watchmen sequence. Now, Oklahoma itself is proudly owning as much as this ugly chapter of its historical past and can embody the occasion in its curriculum framework.
“What we want to ensure is that … we are teaching in a grade-appropriate level those facts that have not been taught in a way they should have been taught in Oklahoma,” mentioned State Superintendent Pleasure Hofmeister in a information convention. “This is … our history and we should know it.”
Academics have at all times been free to speak in regards to the topic, however the brand new curriculum will present educators with “extra support and resources” to speak in regards to the topic. Particularly with the Bloodbath’s centennial approaching, Tulsa educators need to make certain the topic is being taught responsibly and soberly. Senator James Lankford famous that subsequent 12 months, the entire nation will “pause … and will look at Tulsa and will ask the question ‘what has changed in race relations in Tulsa in 100 years.’”
He famous that “it’s a reasonable question.”
“This isn’t something that you just read about in history books and think that’s something that happened 100 years ago, it can never happen again,” mentioned Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum on the information convention. “That’s exactly what people in 1921 in Tulsa probably thought too.”