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June 1, 2021 33 min

This episode includes disturbing language including racial slurs.

In the early 20th century, Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was an epicenter of Black economic influence in the United States. However, in the early hours of June 1, 1921, a white mob — sanctioned by the Tulsa police — swept through the community burning and looting homes and businesses, and killing residents.

A century later, the question before Congress, the courts and the United States as a whole is: What would justice look like?

Guest: Brent Staples, a member of the New York Times editorial board.

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Background reading: 

  • A century ago, a prosperous Black neighborhood in Tulsa perished at the hands of a white mob. Here is what the massacre destroyed.
  • The three known survivors, who were all children in 1921, offered their firsthand accounts of the race massacre at a hearing in Washington last month.
  • A centennial commission that raised $30 million for a history exhibit center has said the government should be responsible for repaying survivors and their descendants.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

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