Honoring Billy McClain and Tulsa, the Black Boxing Mecca

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On May 31st and June 1st, 1921, they tried to destroy everything.

In one of the worst massacres in American history, white terrorists eviscerated Black legacy in one murderous rampage across Tulsa, Oklahoma. More than 1,000 Black-owned homes and 200 businesses were destroyed. An estimated 300 people were murdered. With their hands, weapons, and even a bomb dropped from a plane, they savagely decimated a thriving Black community.

Flourishing churches, hotels, a theatre, business offices and other property totaling an estimated 4 million dollars.

Gone.

Many Black folks believed that although the massacre initially started after local Black citizens tried to protect a Black man accused of rape from being lynched, white terrorists desired for years to eliminate the town known as Black Wall Street. The oil boom had hit Tulsa and the northeast side was the only place remaining for expansion. And regardless of the devastation they would inflict, they wanted it.

The commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre sheds light on the stories, history, and legacy of Black Wall Street. It not only housed Black doctors, lawyers, bankers, educators, and artists, but it was also a temporary home to world-famous entertainer, Billy McClain.

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