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Black Wall Street

Author: Mitch Williams
February 06, 2020

Can you believe there was an event in our country where 300 people were murdered, hundreds more injured, and a population of approximately 10,000 displaced from their homes? It has since been described as the worst civil disturbance in American history. 

It all began on May 31, 1921 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in a prestigious community called Greenwood District. The epicenter of African American business and culture was bustling Greenwood Avenue, commonly known as Black Wall Street. It was here that the apex of African American success was vividly seen, including shops, theaters, restaurants and more.

But it was also here that an angry white mob attacked the city, and in two days left hundreds of black residents dead, a thousand houses destroyed, and 40 city blocks burned to the ground. The result of hatred and racism and evil was clearly put on display during this shameful episode in American history.

With Black History month upon us, it is only apropos that we take a moment to look back on some of our history. And what we are reminded of with the Tulsa Race Massacre is that human beings can be unimaginably cruel. It is also a reminder that without God, we are all subject to falling into a mob hysteria and doing evil things.

Jeremiah 17:9 says that our hearts are "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” We cannot self-govern our own heart. We need Jesus to do that work. Therefore, may we daily invite our Savior to give us a new heart that we may be kind and loving in how we treat everyone. May our daily prayer be David’s prayer, “Grant in me a new heart, and create a right spirit within me.” May we learn from our history that only Jesus can compel us to be truly loving to all people, regardless of race.