This website was created on occasion of the 95th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre
May 31, 1921
95 Years Ago
1921 - 2016
Nothing has changed !!!!!
"Black Lives Matter!
Proletarian Anti-Rascism is a matter of revolutionary class struggle, is a matter of proletarian internationalism.
The question of rascism, in general, and the black question, in particular, will be solved by the world socialist revolution".
- Comintern (SH), 1st of July 2016 -
A Black Holocaust in America
What is the main lesson of the Tulsa Massacre ?
The main lesson of the Tulsa Massacre is the necessity of revolutionary violence against rascism of the American bourgeoisie, is the unification of all oppressed and exploited classes for the revolutionary overthrow of the classes of exploiters and oppressors.
The Tulsa Massacre differs from all the previous Massacres in this:
The organized armed struggle of resistance.
The struggle of the bourgeoisie against the truth of history develops in three main steps:
First main step:
The bourgeoisie keeps quit about her crimes and pretended Tulsa Massacre "never happened".
Second main step can be defined by the words of Frederick Engels:
"The bourgeoisie turns everything into a commodity, hence also the writing of history. It is in its nature, a condition of its existence, to falsify all commodities: it falsified history. And the version of history which is most highly paid is that which is best falsified for the purposes of the bourgeoisie."
(MECWSH, Volume 21, page 313; Plan of Chapter Two and Fragments for The History of Ireland)
Third main step:
The bourgeoisie turns history into an open weapon against the opressed and exploited classes, against communism.
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The history can not cheat itself. History is always falsified by the bourgeoisie.
The truth of history can only be liberated by the working class.
- Comintern (SH) -
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The 95 years long history of the Tulsa Massacre teaches that the worldwide genocide, committed by air assaults of the USA-imperialists, had started in America - thus in the own country.
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The worst act of domestic terrorism in "peacetime" America was the Tulsa, Oklahoma massacre of African Americans in 1921
The night of May 31st., airplanes distributing nitroglycerin bombed the affluent community, and an angry white mob (in the service of the American bourgeoisie!) began the destruction of Little Africa.
Tulsa 1921 is a story of brutal "ethnic cleansing" and genocide. This was the largest "civil disturbance" since the Civil War and the anti-Indian wars of the 1800s. It is a story that has been systematically censored by the system--despite the repeated efforts of the Black press, revolutionary forces and progressive historians to bring the facts to light.
Black veterans came back from World War 1 with pride and a fresh belief that they deserved respect and equality. In urban areas, many Black people were bolder in questioning the lynch-law customs of Jim Crow. The revolutionary storms of Europe and Russia after World War 1 inspired the new revolutionary and communist organization among Black people - also in Tulsa.
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The Comintern on Tulsa:
30th of November 1922
The history of the American blacks has prepared them to play a major role in the liberation struggle of the entire African race. 300 years ago the American blacks were torn from their native African soil, transported to America in slave ships and, in indescribably cruel conditions, sold into slavery. For 250 years they were treated like human cattle, under the whip of the American overseer. Their labour cleared the forests, built the roads, picked the cotton, constructed the railroads – on it the Southern aristocracy rested. The reward for their labour was poverty, illiteracy and degradation. The blacks were not docile slaves; their history is full of revolts, uprisings, and an underground struggle for freedom, but all their efforts to free themselves were savagely suppressed. They were tortured into submission, while the bourgeois press and religion justified their slavery. When slavery became an obstacle preventing the full and unhindered development of America towards capitalism, when this slavery came into conflict with the slavery of wage labour, it had to give way. The Civil War, which was not a war for the emancipation of the blacks but a war for the preservation of the industrial hegemony of the North, confronted the blacks with a choice between forced labour in the South and wage slavery in the North. The blood, sweat and tears of the ‘emancipated’ blacks helped to build American capitalism, and when the country, now become a world power, was inevitably pulled into the World War, black Americans gained equal rights with the whites ... to kill and to die for ‘democracy’. Four hundred thousand coloured proletarians were recruited to the American army and organised into special black regiments. These black soldiers had hardly returned from the bloodbath of the war before they came up against racial persecution, lynchings, murders, the denial of rights, discrimination and general contempt. They fought back, but paid dearly for the attempt to assert their human rights. The persecution of blacks became even more widespread than before the war, and the blacks once again learned to ‘know their place’. The spirit of revolt, inflamed by the post-war violence and persecution, was suppressed, but cases of inhuman cruelty, such as the events in Tulsa, [City in Oklahoma. Scene of a pogrom in 1921 which turned into a veritable race war] still cause it to flare up again. This, plus the post-war industrialisation of blacks in the North, places the American blacks, particularly those in the North, in the vanguard of the struggle for black liberation.
Leaflet published by the (unified) Communist Party of America, Late June 1921.
October 26, 1930
On May 30, 1921, a 19-year-old black shoeshine man named Dick Rowland entered the Drexel building downtown to use the segregated restroom. While approaching the elevator, which apparently hadn’t stopped evenly with the floor, Rowland tripped and fell on the operator, a 17-year-old white girl named Sarah Page. The girl screamed, drawing the attention of onlookers who yelled “rape.” (The charges were dropped after the riot.)
Rowland was subsequently arrested the same day, and an egregious article in the town’s newspaper called for his lynching. This then led to an armed standoff at the courthouse between a white mob, that came to kill Rowland. A group of armed black men arrived to prevent a lynching. Organized militant forces in the Black community stepped forward to defend Dick Rowland.
White rioters ransacked the town as they went on a shooting and looting rampage attacking its black residents. The violence later prompted the state’s governor to declare martial law and bring in the National Guard. Regular infantry of the Oklahoma National Guard rushed in on a special train, arriving June 1. The Guard's commander later wrote, "Twenty-five thousand whites, armed to the teeth, were ranging the city in utter and ruthless defiance of every concept of law and righteousness. Motor cars bristling with guns swept through the city, their occupants firing at will." The Guard soldiers were officially there to stop the "disturbance," but they quickly went to work rounding up Black people at bayonet point, wounding many in the process.
The riot ceased within 24 hours and left the city in ruins.
The battle that ensued, enabled by the Tulsa police chief, who deputized hundreds of white men and commandeered gun shops to arm them, lasted through the night and well into the next day. Teams of Black fighters formed to fight for the lives of the people. The combat was house-to-house, and even hand-to-hand in some areas.
More than 8,000 left homeless. Many of the homeless spent the following year living in tents pitched in the ruins of the neighborhood.
1,500 to 3,000 people were killed, and a lot of them were buried in mass graves all around the city. Some were thrown into the river. Many of the survivors mentioned bodies were stacked like cord wood.
No one was convicted of participating in the riot; no one was compensated for lost property.
The U.S. government has never cared about the plight of any oppressed grouping. Its policy is to pit one oppressed group against the other to secure its brutal class rule.
Most shamefully is the fact it was essentially struck from history books in Oklahoma.
The 95 years long history of the Tulsa Massacre teaches that the worldwide genocide, committed by air assaults of the USA-imperialists, had started in Tulsa.
“I could see planes circling in mid-air. They grew in number and hummed, darted and dipped low".
“Don’t talk about it, don’t do nothing about it until all these people are dead. Then they think it’ll be over with. But it won’t.”
Survivors search the ruins of their homes for anything they can salvage. To this day, no insurance claims nor any restitution has been paid.
Revolutionaries and progressive people organized campaigns to aid the burned-out survivors of this massacre.
The local police organized a murderous attack on the Black community. They deputized hundreds of men from the lynch mob and told them, "Now you can go out and shoot any n*gger you see, and the law'll be behind you."
As the racist forces tried to cross the railroad tracks, fighters within the Black community held them off for hours with sniper fire. By dawn, huge numbers of armed whites had gathered--as many as 10,000--and at 5 a.m. they moved into "Little Africa." It was a full military invasion--complete with machine guns.
A victim of the Tulsa race riot lays on the back of a flat bed truck outside Convention Hall as a white man with a shotgun stands on the truck.
As could have been expected, the impetus behind it all was the infamous Ku Klux Klan, working in consort with ranking city officials and many other sympathizers.
Death squads of armed whites, many of them organized Klansmen, went door-to-door in the burning neighborhoods killing people. They shot anyone moving in the streets. Black men were chained to cars and dragged to their deaths.
No force can undo the crimes of the Tulsa Massacre !
Since 1997, a relentless movement has emerged to demand an accounting in Tulsa. Many participants demand reparations for the brutality and destruction. More than 150 witnesses, including 60 survivors, have testified at a "Tulsa Race Riot Commission" of the Oklahoma Legislature. And their powerful stories have brought out the truth--after all these many years. People have stepped forward to identify three places in Tulsa where Black bodies were buried in mass graves.
Over the years, there was an ongoing struggle to break through the silence. Survivors told of the air attacks and of bodies dumped in mineshafts and the nearby river. Officially, such reports were dismissed as unfounded exaggerations and lies. In the 1970s, thanks to the powerful Black Liberation movement, accounts of the Tulsa Massacre started to appear in progressive magazines, radical history books and the new courses on Black Studies.