Little Africa On Fire (Tulsa Race Riot June 1st. 1921)

Created by
Unidentified
Owned by
Ross, J. Kavin, American
Date
1921
Medium
silver and photographic gelatin on photographic paper, with ink on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 3 7/16 × 5 7/16 in. (8.7 × 13.8 cm)
Caption
On May 31 and June 1, 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, mobs of white residents brutally attacked the African American community of Greenwood, colloquially known as "Black Wall Street," in the deadliest racial massacre in U.S. history. Homes, businesses, and community structures including schools, churches, a hospital, and the library were looted and burned or otherwise destroyed. Exact statistics are unknown, but the violence left around 10,000 people homeless and as many as 300 people dead with many more missing and wounded.
Photo postcards of the Tulsa Race Massacre were widely distributed following the massacre in 1921. Like postcards depicting lynchings, these souvenir cards were powerful declarations of white racial power and control. Decades later, the cards served as evidence for community members working to recover the forgotten history of the riot and secure justice for its victims and their descendants.
Description
A sepia-toned photographic postcard depicting fires during the Tulsa Race Massacre. Taken from an elevated position, the image shows buildings and rooftops in the foreground, with several large plumes of black smoke rising from buildings in the background. Across the top of the image, written into the negative, is the text [LITTLE AFRICA ON FIRE / TULSA RACE RIOT JUNE 1ST. 1921]. The verso is marked [POST CARD] at the top with spaces for [CORRESPONDENCE] and [ADDRESS] and an AZO stamp box in the top right corner.
Place depicted
Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma, United States, North and Central America
Classification
Media Arts-Photography
Type
gelatin silver prints
photographic postcards
Topic
Communities
Photography
Race relations
Race riots
Tulsa Race Massacre
U.S. History, 1919-1933
Violence
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number
2011.175.3
Restrictions & Rights
Public domain
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd5e8d1f017-0a14-4f25-b1b6-dfef3c31adff
2 image(s)