This is a marvelous reconstruction of Greenwood and the people who owned businesses and/or lived there. The story summarizes what happened:
Brick and wood-frame homes dotted the landscape, along with blocks lined with grocery stores, hotels, nightclubs, billiard halls, theaters, doctor’s offices and churches.
Greenwood was so promising, so vibrant that it became home to what was known as America’s Black Wall Street. But what took years to build was erased in less than 24 hours by racial violence — sending the dead into mass graves and forever altering family trees.
Hundreds of Greenwood residents were brutally killed, their homes and businesses wiped out. They were casualties of a furious and heavily armed white mob of looters and arsonists. One factor that drove the violence: resentment toward the Black prosperity found in block after block of Greenwood.
The financial toll of the massacre is evident in the $1.8 million in property loss claims — $27 million in today’s dollars — detailed in a 2001 state commission report. For two decades, the report has been one of the most comprehensive documentation to reveal the horrific details of the massacre — among the worst racial terror attacks in the nation’s history — as well as the government’s culpability.
But it’s really worth clicking through for the fascinating virtual tour, which makes the scale of the destruction and the toll of violent white supremacy vivid.