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As Tulsa, Oklahoma, commemorates the race massacre, a new generation is striving to own and understand that painful history. What can the country learn from its efforts? May 27, Part 3: 'Everything is Us' Loading the player Many residents say these efforts are important.

This episode was originally published in October To learn more about the podcast and find new episodes, please visit our. This story was deed to be heard. We strongly encourage you to experience it with your ears, but we understand that is not an option for everybody. You can find the audio player above. For those who are unable to listen, we have provided a transcript of the story below.

Samantha Laine Perfas: Hi everyone. When we first reported this story, we wanted to know what Tulsans were thinking as they looked to the future. So in this episode — again hosted by Jess — we find out what we, as a country, can learn from these efforts. This story contains descriptions of violence, including gun violence and trauma inflicted on Black Americans. Please be advised. Let me find it. Where is that poem? OK, I found it. Jessica Mendoza: is coming to a close.

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This long, difficult year, including the election, will be behind us. But no matter what else happens, no matter who wins, America will still be wrestling with race and racism. So when the year turns, the nation may well look to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to see what it looks like when a city confronts a racist past.

At the end of May, Tulsa will be commemorating the centennial of the race massacre — a violent incident of racism that left the Black community of Greenwood in ruins. The city has big plans for the year. And everyone we talked to in Tulsa agrees these efforts are important. Few, if any, other U. But for many Black Tulsans, the massacre represents not just historic pain or symbolic oppression. It reflects their lived experiences today. And they told us that owning up to a racist history — to racism — takes more than programs and projects and good intentions.

It takes a willingness, on the part of their leaders and fellow residents, to have difficult conversations about what the Black community has been through and is still going through. Today, we hear from some of them about that process: the sorrow and the anger involved, but also the determination. And the hope. Absolutely phenomenal magnet program.

I learned nothing about the massacre there. The knowledge changed something in them — though in different ways. Steph was 23 when he first came across a documentary on the massacre, on YouTube. The story would dominate his life for the next decade. The mansion was built and formerly owned by Tulsa founding father and avowed white supremacist W. Tate Brady. Learning this really like, changed me. Dick Rowland was the Black shoeshiner accused of assaulting a white woman back in His arrest was the spark that ignited the massacre.

Jess: Steph feels a real connection with Dick Rowland, whom he sees as a kind of an avatar of the Black experience — not just a hundred years ago, but today. Simon: Dick Rowland was one of the first. The story is, he is blamed for sexual assault. I know we are believing women, but I also believe that they use Black kids to start stuff like that. Like Mike Brown —. Jess: — the year-old shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Mo.

Jess: — who was chased and shot by white residents in his South Georgia neighborhood in February. A neighbor had called to report seeing a Black man inside a house under construction in the area, which Beautiful older ladies wants real sex Tulsa recently seen several break-ins. Simon: So that justified him getting shot by two non-cops. And this one was, he assaulted her. These stories just keep happening over and over. And over.

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And over again. I was still mad about Ahmaud, and then it was like, dang, we gotta get more mad about George Floyd. That happened up the road from my house. And then by the time we got done painting him on a shirt, there was somebody else we gotta put. Everything is.

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Everything is us. Pro-Black business, pro local, pro collaboration with your peers, is key. Jess: Even where Steph recorded his album is part of his message. The mansion, built inis a close replica of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Jerica Wortham agrees. But Jerica is also an art curator, and she spends a lot of time working with small businesses across Tulsa — especially those run by people of color. She actually asked to meet us in one of them — Fulton Street Books and Coffee — which a friend of hers recently opened.

Wortham: Tulsa is a space that is rich with entrepreneurs, with opportunity to really just kind of spread your wings. I want to try this out. Can I get a little support and just kind of see how that works? Wortham : A lot of the people in our community do their business online because the increasing difficulty for people of color to have storefronts. So the — the spirit of Black Wall Street, the spirit of Greenwood, the spirit of of bringing together community — that is there.

A sense of revival and revitalization, an awareness that the country might soon look its way.

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Anything is possible for us. But we want that to be what you think about now. We want to make it less of an idea and more of a reality. The show airs on a local community radio station run by a man named Bobby Eaton. Jess: Bobby is another Tulsa native, though he spent much of his life working as a musician in Los Angeles and Houston.

He came back in to help care for his mother. But he quickly found himself doing something more. Eaton: When I first moved back here four and a half years ago, I just would go around in the community and I would talk to people.

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Never heard of it. So I decided to open up a radio station. Jess: Bobby runs about a dozen programs through his company, Eaton Media Services, including a few he hosts himself. But The Juice Radio Show is his pride. So he and his executive director, Ramal Brown, do all they can to make sure The Juice is more than an afternoon hobby for the young folks involved. Eaton: We try to make sure they get placed in college. My grandfather always told me something: Be the best at what you do, whatever you decide.

Or, you know, the best doctor. The best musician or entertainer. Economic development. Things have been torn down. Homes have been torn down. But he says the commemoration is an important chance for folks to process what happened in Greenwood: the spirit that built up Black Wall Street, the hate that tore it down, and the persistence that built it back up again. Jess: Jerica Wortham is pretty psyched to be part of that conversation. Jess: Jerica is talking about the Greenwood Art Project. The project is an initiative of the Tulsa Centennial Commission, which aims to make sure Tulsa, and the country, know the history of Black Wall Street and the massacre.

Wortham : The Greenwood Art Project is a public art project deed to help the artists in Tulsa tell the story of Greenwood in their own way, from their own perspective, and a first-person lens. This was a battleground. This was where horrific things happened. But at the same time, this is where a family lived, where they ate dinner, where they loved each other.

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And where real people lived real lives. So what you will experience is spaces being engaged with music, poetry, live theater, dance. Jess: The goal of the Greenwood Art Project is to make history come alive. But much of that history is dark and painful. Wortham : We understand that it could be heavy. It was a lot of blowing things up and then leaving you to deal with it, but not actually having the necessary discussions. Jess: The installations for the Greenwood Art Project will start showing up in the Greenwood District at the start ofall the way up to the centennial on May 31st and June 1st, and possibly beyond.

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