Today on Hard Knock Radio We speak with Oklahoma natives Erinn Ransom Ofori and Kode Ransom about the political climate in Tulsa leading up to President Trump’s first campaign rally since the Corona Virus Pandemic…Initially President Trump scheduled his rally on what would’ve been Juneteenth which only further fueled racial tensions.
We talk about the legacy of police terror in Tulsa including the 2016 tragic shooting death of Terence Cruthcher which garnered national attention and the recent remarks by a high ranking police officer who suggested more Black people ought to be shot by police.
We also talk about the large number of armed white militias that have shown up to North Tulsa where the place where the rally is scheduled to take place. The BOK Center is in North Tulsa which is in the heart of the Black community and also near the sight of the horrific 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre (also called the Tulsa Race Riot, the Greenwood Massacre, or the Black Wall Street Massacre) which commemorated its 99th anniversary.
Our guest talk about how many people were not taught about the massacre in schools and that many elders in the community had a deep sense of shame regarding what took place. It’s only been recently that folks are more open to talking about Black Wall Street. They also talk about the role Hip Hop and cultural movements have played in helping heal the wounds and bring awareness around the Tulsa Massacre
Later in the show Professor Dr Kimberly Ellis of Carnigie Mellon University in Pittsburgh provides more of a contextual understanding of Black Wall Street. She explained that the Tulsa story has been her life’s work since the late 1990s. She wrote her dissertation on the destruction of Greenwood, and then served as the Literary and Historical Expert Consultant to lawyer Charles Ogletree, and the late Johnnie Cochran and the entire “dream team” of lawyers who sought to obtain reparations for the Black Tulsa descendants who lost everything.
Prior to that she created the “All Eyes on Tulsa” digital awareness campaign for reparations.
Duriing our conversation she talked in great detail about the relationship between police departments and state militias policing the Black communities and how the destruction of Greenwood came about because local law enforcement deputized vengeful citizens. She noted that racist armed militia types are showing up at demonstrations itching to be deputized.