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Judi Lynn

(160,755 posts)
Sat Nov 24, 2018, 01:21 AM Nov 2018

1 of the last survivors of 1921 Tulsa race riot dies at 103

Source: Associated Press


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Olivia Hooker, one of the last survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race riots and among the first black women in the U.S. Coast Guard, has died. She was 103.

Hooker was 6 years old when one of the worst race riots in U.S. history broke out and destroyed much of a Tulsa neighborhood known as “Black Wall Street.” She hid under a table as a torch-carrying mob destroyed her family’s home, she told National Public Radio in an interview this year.

She recalled hearing the mob use an axe to destroy her sister’s piano. For a child, she said, it was horrifying trying to keep quiet.

“The most shocking was seeing people you’d never done anything to irritate would just, took it upon themselves to destroy your property because they didn’t want you to have those things,” said Hooker , who died this week at her home in New York, according to her goddaughter.

Read more: https://apnews.com/5834f70be49645669f4aae2a4570d242

Olivia Hooker, as a child, and an old lady.

The Living Legacy of Dr. Olivia J. Hooker
The first black woman to serve in the Coast Guard turns 103.

FEB 12, 2018

Dr. Olivia J. Hooker is the kind of person who’ll credit everyone else for her lifetime of achievements before she credits herself.

And her list of accomplishments is seemingly endless. She has two Coast Guard buildings named after her for being the first black woman to enlist. She advanced psychology for people with disabilities as one of the few black women in the field. She took the fight for reparations for fellow survivors of the Tulsa race riot in Oklahoma to Capitol Hill. She’s been called "fearless" and "an inspiration" by President Obama.

But rather than give herself any sort of credit for this, Hooker has her doctors to thank, her roommates in basic training, the teachers who helped her along the way — and her mom.

"She was the person that wanted to see you doing something that was a higher aim," Hooker says. "We knew as children, don’t let mama catch you idle. You better have a book in your hand, a pen to write."

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1 of the last survivors of 1921 Tulsa race riot dies at 103 (Original Post) Judi Lynn Nov 2018 OP
Thanks for this post. May Dr Olivia rest in peace. iluvtennis Nov 2018 #1
RIP! burrowowl Nov 2018 #2
"Black Wall Street" was home to dozens of prominent black businesses... iluvtennis Nov 2018 #3
K&R. I wonder when we'll hear about one of the last rioters dying... Cowards. ck4829 Nov 2018 #4
Mathematically they've long since died. Codeine Nov 2018 #6
Well, even if they were 15 in 1921 Polybius Nov 2018 #9
She outlived them all ck4829 Nov 2018 #10
R.I.P. dear brave lady BumRushDaShow Nov 2018 #5
I was lucky enough to learn about this in school. Codeine Nov 2018 #7
In school BumRushDaShow Nov 2018 #8


(19,937 posts)
3. "Black Wall Street" was home to dozens of prominent black businesses...
Sat Nov 24, 2018, 03:05 AM
Nov 2018

During the oil boom of the 1910s, the area of northeast Oklahoma around Tulsa flourished, including the Greenwood neighborhood, which came to be known as "the Negro Wall Street" ...now commonly referred to as "the Black Wall Street"

The area was home to dozens of prominent black businessmen and a variety of thriving black-owned businesses that were very successful up until the Tulsa Race Riot. Not only did black Americans want to contribute to the success of their own shops, but there were also racial segregation laws that prevented them from shopping anywhere other than Greenwood.

Detroit Avenue, along the edge of Standpipe Hill, contained a number of expensive houses belonging to doctors, lawyers and business owners. The buildings on Greenwood Avenue housed the offices of almost all of Tulsa's black lawyers, realtors, doctors, and other professionals.

In Tulsa at the time of the riot, there were fifteen well-known black American physicians, one of whom, Dr. A.C. Jackson, was considered the "most able Negro surgeon in America" by one of the Mayo brothers. Dr. Jackson was shot to death as he left his house during the unrest. Greenwood published two newspapers, the Tulsa Star and the Oklahoma Sun, which covered not only Tulsa, but also state and national news and elections. The buildings that housed the newspapers were destroyed during the destruction of Greenwood

Greenwood was a very religiously active community. At the time of the racial violence there were more than a dozen black American churches and many Christian youth organizations and religious societies.

In northeastern Oklahoma, as elsewhere in America, the prosperity of minorities emerged amidst racial and political tension.

The Ku Klux Klan made its first major appearance in Oklahoma shortly before one of the worst race riots in history. It is estimated that there were about 3,200 members of the Klan in Tulsa in 1921.


(130,504 posts)
5. R.I.P. dear brave lady
Sat Nov 24, 2018, 09:57 AM
Nov 2018

This was a horrid part of U.S. history that they don't teach in the schools, which also included what happened in Rosewood, FL just 2 years after Tulsa... and in between, a period littered with lynchings galore and the rise of the KKK. The "roaring '20s" was but a period of roaring fires that burned far too many black people out of their homes and businesses.



(25,586 posts)
7. I was lucky enough to learn about this in school.
Sat Nov 24, 2018, 01:13 PM
Nov 2018

Funnily enough not during the short time I lived in Oklahoma, but after we moved to California. Our history teacher covered a lot of things traditionally overlooked in state curricula.


(130,504 posts)
8. In school
Sat Nov 24, 2018, 01:37 PM
Nov 2018

I heard more about the European atrocities in Europe than the American atrocities right here in the U.S. There was far too much of the myths of "Johnny Appleseed" and "Davy Crockett" and "Daniel Boone" and little about the realities of that era.

Fortunately my parents had bookcases full of my own history just as I have my own bookcases full of the same today.

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