I and a friend were talking about music one day and he mentions the Gap Band and some of the great music they made back in the day. First of all, I am not a music connoisseur. So, I’m not going to know the names of band members or the songs that won Grammys. One thing for sure, I know what I like and I like music that makes me get out of my seat and You Dropped the Bomb on Me by the Gap Band was such song.
My friend says, “… you know what they talking about don’t you.” I admit it, I don’t know. Was the song a story of unbearable heart break? He responded that they dropped the bomb on Tulsa. WHAT!!
I knew there was a riot in Tulsa 1921 but a bomb was dropped. By who?? I was very curious about this incident. I was appalled at the racist acts by whites in Tulsa. Everything points to these white folks being jealous of these Black folks that carved out wealth in Jim Crow Oklahoma. So on May 31, 1921 mobs of whites killed, burned, and pillaged the Black community of Greenwood. Greenwood had about 10,000 Black citizens in 1921 and more than 3,000 was killed during the riot. Some of the Black citizens of Greenwood armed themselves to defend their property and self but they were out numbered. Law enforcement was of no help. They participated or turned the other way. Tulsa was the first U.S. city to be bombed from the air.
A commission was formed in 1997 to study the event and give a report. The excerpt below is from an internet article Final Report of the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 compiled by Danney Goble.
The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Commission originated in 1997 with House Joint Resolution No. 1035. The act twice since has been amended, first in 1998, and again two years later. The final rewriting passed each legislative chamber in March and be came law with Governor Frank Keating’s signature on April 6, 2000.
Excerpts from the report:
Over eight decades, some Tulsans (mostly black Tulsans) have insisted that whites attacked Greenwood from the air, even bombed it from military airplanes. Other Tulsans (mostly white Tulsans) have denied those claims; many have never even heard them. In a sense, it is a black-or-white question, but Richard S. Warner demonstrates that it has no black-or-white answer.
He proves it absolutely false that military planes could have employed military weapons on Greenwood. He also proves it absolutely true that civilian aircraft did fly over the riot area. Some were there for police reconnaissance, some for photography, and some for other legitimate purposes.
He also thinks it reasonable to believe that others had less innocent use. It is probable that shots were fired and that incendiary devices were dropped, and these would have contributed to riot-related deaths or destruction. How much? No one will ever know: History permits no black-or-white answer.
Can you believe this shit!! They make movies out this type of history. The Klu Klux Klan was very powerful and large in Oklahoma. Some of their prominent citizens were members of the Klan. It’s believed by some this was a planned attack. Thousands of Blacks were killed and there were rumors of mass graves where a large hole was dug and thousands of bodies were thrown in like the German Nazis did to the Jews in Germany.