Rep. Payne, Jr.’s Statement on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre
Washington, D.C. — Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. released the following statement today regarding the House Resolution (H.Res. 215) on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. In 1921, locally-sanctioned white supremist mobs killed as many as 300 African-Americans, destroyed more than 1,200 homes and businesses, and caused more than $2 million (or more than $32 million today) in property damage from May 31 to June 1 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At the time, the area was known as “Black Wall Street” because it was the wealthiest, Black community in the United States.
“Today, we honor those who lost their lives during the Tulsa Race Massacre with this powerful House Resolution by my colleague, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “These were African-American business owners, entrepreneurs and residents who died while trying to fulfill the American Dream. This was their opportunity and they were killed due to petty jealousy. The wealth they were building in that community could have lasted at least two generations. Those were businesses and homes that could have been inherited by their children and grandchildren. What crime did they commit other than trying to better their lives? The event is another tragic example of American racism and remains one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history.”