Tag Archives: Race Riot

Unpacking the Aunty Em Ericann Blog Again

Every once in a while I like to pull back the curtain and show my readers what it looks like under the hood here at the Aunty Em Ericann Blog. However, and this is the important part, it’s really just an excuse for me to beg my readers to click on the ads. That’s the only way this blog generates any money for me and I work on it so very hard. Click on an advert. Clicking on an advert will cost you nothing, but it will put a few pennies into my pocket . . . and I do mean “few.”

All-time Top Ten posts.
Click to enlarge
All-time Top Ten search terms. Click to enlarge

I started this blog on April 19, 2012. Since then the blog has had 35,352 page views (as of this writing), which averages out to approximately 7,070 page views per month. That’s not bad for a newish blog. At left is a list of the all-time Top Ten Posts. It’s clear even at a small resolution that the Number One post is ahead by a wide margin: 1,493 to 610 for the Number Two post. I find that stunning for a bunch of reasons, main among them is that I’ve not promoted the Number One post; people have found it through the Googalizer, as evidenced by the next graph. At the time of this writing 526 people have found the Number One page in a search, as opposed to 293 who searched and found the Number Two post on the blog.

For the record: The Top Ten posts on the Aunty Em Ericann blog are:

Entry Pageviews
1494
610
560
375
319
310
310
281
281
266

Some of those surprise me. There’s really no reason I can think of why the Barbara Walters clip comes in at Number 10, or why the post on Wretched Gretched clocks in at Number Six. Both were intended to be silly one-offs, yet they keep on garnering readers. Amazingly neither are part of the search terms people have used to find my blog.

Who am I to argue with my readers? They know what they like.

I am gratified, however, that some of the posts I am most proud of have made it into the Top Ten.  Specifically I’d like to point to the ones on Josephine Baker, The E.W.F. Stirrup House, When Whites Went Crazy in Tulsa, and The Detroit Riots. The thread that connects them all is that they are all about Race Relations and Racism, a subject I have been researching as my own Independent Studies Course as long as I can remember.

Meanwhile, I will keep publishing my blog. Hopefully my readers will realize how much hard work goes into writing these posts and will click on an advert, or two, or three and help support this project.

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When Whites Went Crazy In Tulsa ► May 31, 1921 ► A Day In History

Otis G. Clark died last week at the ripe old age of 109. Mr. Clark was the last
survivor of the terrible Tulsa Race Riot on May 31, 1921, ninety one years ago
today.

The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 is considered one of the worst race riots in U.S. history, and yet barely anyone knows about it. This history was whitewashed, pun intended, and for decades it wasn’t taught in any Oklahoma history classes. Many people are unaware that during the riot Whites took up in planes left over from World War One. They dropped bombs on and shot at Blacks on the ground.

Otis Clark was just a young man of 18 when the Whites in Tulsa went crazy 91 years ago. According to his obituary at WashPo:

For years, few people dared to speak about what happened on the night of May 31, 1921, during one of the most deadly and devastating race riots in the nation’s history. Otis G. Clark, who was 18 at the time, had grown up in Greenwood, a thriving African American section of Tulsa.

During a night that history almost forgot, Mr. Clark dodged bullets, raced through alleys to escape armed mobs and saw his family’s home burned to the ground. He fled Tulsa on a freight train headed north.

He would eventually move to Los Angeles, where he was the butler in the home of movie star Joan Crawford. He later turned to preaching and was known as the “world’s oldest evangelist.”

Here’s a news report on Mr. Clark when he was just a young pup of 106:

The Tulsa
riot of 1921 began as so many of these other disturbances did: A White person
took offense at something a Black person is alleged to have done and Whites went crazy.

The Oklahoma
Historical Society
has more:

Believed to be the single worst incident of racial violence
in American history, the bloody 1921 Tulsa
race riot has continued to haunt Oklahomans to the present day. During the
course of eighteen terrible hours on May 31 and June 1, 1921, more than one
thousand homes and businesses were destroyed, while credible estimates of riot
deaths range from fifty to three hundred. By the time the violence ended, the
city had been placed under martial law, thousands of Tulsans were being held
under armed guard, and the state’s second-largest African
American
community had been burned to the ground.

[…]

Tulsa
was also a deeply troubled town. Crime rates were sky high, while the city had
been plagued by vigilantism, including the August 1920 lynching,
by a white mob, of a white teenager accused of murder. Newspaper reports
confirmed that the Tulsa
police had done little to protect the lynching victim, who had been taken from
his jail cell at the county courthouse.

Eight months later an incident involving Dick Rowland, an
African American shoe shiner, and Sarah Page, a white elevator operator, would
set the stage for tragedy. While it is still uncertain as to precisely what
happened in the Drexel
Building on May 30, 1921,
the most common explanation is that Rowland stepped on Page’s foot as he
entered the elevator, causing her to scream.

The next day, however, the Tulsa
Tribune
, the city’s afternoon daily newspaper, reported that Rowland,
who had been picked up by police, had attempted to rape Page. Moreover,
according to eyewitnesses, the Tribune also published a now-lost editorial
about the incident, titled “To Lynch Negro Tonight.” By early evening
there was, once again, lynch talk on the streets of Tulsa.
The riot was on. Read more at:
Watch these spaces for an upcoming post about the several Detroit Riots in an upcoming episode of “Unpacking My Detroit.” Or read Part One and Part Two.