In 1921, a horrible defamation turned into a deadly and costly Tulsa riot.
This is the fundamental narrative of some political tensions brewing a century later. Along with the information being taught in classrooms, homes, and through media outlets, there are speculations and vast politically correct scolding. Let's look at some of the more controversial narratives that are being spread this spring.
- Greenwood. While even the rumor of Tate Brady being connected to a racist group was enough to order Brady Street renamed twice, Greenwood Avenue ('Black Wall Street') is named after one of the most obvious leaders in racial history. Greenwood LeFlore was a wealthy and powerful leader in 2 governments. As Principal Chief of the Choctaw nation, he abdicated his role and stayed in Greenwood, MS; because he owned a massive cotton plantation there. He was also an influential state senator, along with his friend and ally, Jefferson Davis (yes, the President of the Confederacy). Greenwood owned many African slaves on his plantation. Yet for over 100 years there has not been a single protest calling for Greenwood Avenue to be renamed for a different Eastern US city. Six years ago when Sooner Politics responded to the first call for renaming Brady Street, the protesters quickly and quietly stopped their witch hunt.
- Reparations. Oklahoma was 'Indian Territory' during almost the entire 19th century. The only open 'legal' slavery in Oklahoma was involving Indian tribal members and African slaves. The state of Oklahoma and the white settlers after1889 were not the slaveowners. Tribal law reinforced chattel slavery and criminally prosecuted any act to free a slave. While the Reconstruction Treaties of 1866 & 67 often included land concessions to freed slaves(a quarter mile square, per family), some say that even more reparations are due to all the present day Black residents of Oklahoma. That is a matter for the tribes to hear and rule upon; not the Oklahoma legislature.
- Juneteenth. Even after the 'Emancipation Proclamation' (Jan.1, 1863); even after the surrender at Appomattox (May 9, 1965); even after the surrenders at Palmito Ranch & Fort Towson (June 23, 1865), it wasn't until August 20, 1866; that the Civil war ended in the 36 states. Juneteenth is a 'portmanteau' for the event on June 19th, 1865 when a Union general announced to the people of Galveston that the African slaves are emancipated in Texas. But the Emancipation Proclamation excluded Delaware & Kentucky. Slavery continued in those states until December of 1866(ratification of the 13th Amendment).
In Indian Territory (later renamed 'Oklahoma') the tribes had autonomy and chattel slavery was allowed in each tribe until they signed the 'Reconstruction Treaties'. The Osage Tribal territory was the last continental domain of chattel slavery in the US. On January 21, 1867 (the 3rd Monday in January). Chattel slavery ended when the Osage Tribe signed the documents.