Tom Hanks: You Should Learn the Truth About the Tulsa Race Massacre

I consider myself a lay historian. But for all my study, I never read a page of any school history book about how, in 1921, a mob of white people burned down a place called Black Wall Street, killed as many as 300 of its Black citizens and displaced thousands of Black Americans who lived in Tulsa, Okla. My experience was common: History was mostly written by white people about white people like me, while the history of Black people – including the horrors of Tulsa – was too often left out. Until relatively recently, the entertainment industry, which helps shape what is history and what is forgotten, did the same. That includes projects of mine. I knew about the attack on Fort Sumter, Custer’s last stand and Pearl Harbor but did not know of the Tulsa massacre until last year, thanks to an article in The New York Times. The truth about Tulsa, and the repeated violence by some white Americans against Black Americans, was systematically ignored. Our predominantly white schools didn’t teach it, our mass appeal works of historical fiction didn’t enlighten us, and my chosen industry didn’t take on the subject in films and shows until recently. It seems white educators and school administrators (if they even knew of the Tulsa massacre, for some surely did not) omitted the volatile subject for the sake of the status quo, placing white feelings over Black experience – literally Black lives in this case. Should our schools now teach the truth about Tulsa? Yes, and they should also stop the battle to whitewash curriculums.

Note: The above was written by renowned actor Tom Hanks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources.

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Author: {Want To Know}

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