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Library of Congress Updates Tulsa Race Massacre Heading

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A team at the University of Oklahoma began the initiative to change the heading beginning in 2019 in a move they say is important for historical framing.

What We Know:

  • The Library of Congress will change the heading of the Tulsa Race incident from “Riot” to “Massacre.” The distinction between the two words is crucial to understanding what actually took place.
  • The Massacre took place in the Black Greenwood District of Tulsa between May 31-June 1st, 1921. The violence began when a Black teen fled the scene after being arrested for allegedly assaulting a white woman. A mob formed and went into the neighborhood, destroying businesses and homes while killing hundreds of people.
  • Karlos Hill, chair of the African-American Studies Department at UO, is proud of the university’s role in getting the name changed. He stated, “In making this small but significant shift, the Library of Congress is helping to bring forward a more historically accurate perspective of what actually occurred.”
  • In order to get the name changed, the team had to prove “massacre” was the correct term and the one more commonly used currently. The team cited google searches and other sources, some within the Library of Congress itself.
  • Oklahoma House Rep. Monroe Nichols said the change was necessary for people in the state and nation at large to learn about Tulsa, stating that “words matter” when it comes to topics of racism.  Oklahoma Rep. Forrest Bennett also praised the change on Twitter but added: “there is more to do.”

The centennial anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre will arrive later this year. With the name formally changed in the Library, more people will be able to gain a greater understanding of the tragic events of that night.

The post Library of Congress Updates Tulsa Race Massacre Heading appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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