Meet The Survivors
ORAL HISTORY ACCOUNTS OF THE TULSA RACE RIOT OF 1921 BY BLACK SURVIVORS
Introduction by Eddie Faye Gates
The eyewitness accounts of the living black survivors of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 are extremely significant for they are a primary source of vital riot information given by one of the most important groups in Tulsa at that time, the besieged black population of Tulsa who suffered the most during that awful holocaust May 31-June 1, 1921. Some of the accounts are compelling examples of the terror of traumatized children during the riot. Some are accounts of the black warriors of the riot ranging from 11, 12, and 13-year-old-boys who formed a "munition brigade" to hack open boxes of ammunition and to pass boxes of bullets to Greenwood’s black men who were trying desperately, against all odds, to keep mob elements and militia from destroying their beloved Greenwood. One of the bravest of this group was Horace "Pegleg" Taylor whose daughter Lena Eloise Taylor Butler of Seattle, Washington told the author of Taylor’s last earthly efforts on June 1, 1921. Other accounts give poignant inner-circle views of what Tulsa was like in the 1920's - two cities divided by race. Some of the testimonies of the riot are long, detailed, thorough. Others are terse, but telling. A few survivors gave no testimony at all, for they are no longer capable of sharing their thoughts due to the effects of aging or illness.
Below, in their own words, are the fascinating, compelling, passionate and powerful accounts of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 by some of the known black survivors living today.
John Melvin Alexander
Juanita Delores Burnett Arnold
Kinney I Booker
Other Eyewitness accounts
The complete list of living survivors from the 1921 riot.