Meet and Eat [PHIL-OSOPHY]
We lived in beautiful Tulsa, Oklahoma, the "Oil Capital of the World," long after the worst race massacre in American history, the Greenwood Riot of1921.
You must search the facts of this riot on the internet and your jaw will drop to the floor. Why don't more people know about this annihilation? Because they literally tried erasing it from history.
The Tulsa Tribune removed the front-page story from its archives. Police and state militia records of the violence went missing. Until the 1970s, the Tulsa Race Massacre was rarely talked about. It was hardly ever mentioned in history books and never taught about in schools. Up to 300 people were killed, 800 injured, 8,000 left homeless and 35 city blocks destroyed by fire.
Following World War I, Tulsa was recognized nationally for its affluent African American community known as the Greenwood District. This thriving business district and surrounding residential area were referred to as "Black Wall Street." It was burned to the ground by an angry White mob that thought a young Black man sexually assaulted a White woman on an elevator. Come to find out, an assault never occurred, but the destruction surely did happen.
I titled this article "Meet and Eat" because while we were in Tulsa, I remember my parents invited an elder Native American chief, with an impressive eagle feathered headdress, to have dinner with us so we could get to know one another. How can we take that family gathering and apply it to what's happening today? As an experiment, why doesn't the local faith community join White and Black families together to have dinner at home, breaking bread together and getting to know one another?
And if the churches can't, what's stopping you from inviting a family over to meet and eat?
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.