Unit 7: The Great Migration & The Harlem Renaissance (1916 – 1935)

Unit 7, Class 4: The Rise and Destruction of Black Wall Street

Teaching Guide
Learning Objectives
After completing this lesson, students 
will be able to:
  • Recount the true story of “Black Wall Street” and its destruction, as told by eyewitness accounts from both blacks and whites​.

  • Identify how the local, city and state governments and media of Oklahoma collaborated in the Tulsa Massacre and its cover-up.  

  • Understand the role the Ku Klux Klan played in the Tulsa Massacre of 1921.

Class Quiz!

From Documentary: “Black Wall Street: The Tulsa Race Riot, A Hidden History”

1. What incident (s) sparked the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921?  What were the real motives behind the Tulsa Race Riot?

2. What role did the local sheriff play in the Tulsa Riot of 1921? Who was responsible for ordering the air bombing “Black Wall Street?”

3. What was Field Order #3? 

4. What did local authorities do to suppress the knowledge of the Massacre?

5. How many black people were murdered during the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921? What was the damage done to “Black Wall Street” and the black community of Tulsa?

6.  What did the Oklahoma government do to the aid to blacks that was coming from other states? What lie did “embarrassed” city officials and clergymen present to the world regarding aid to blacks after the Massacre?

7. How many Black insurance claims were submitted?  How many awarded?  How many White claims were submitted?  How many awarded?

8. What did the mayor do with the land and property owned by blacks and burned down after the Riot?

9. How did the Oklahoma government suppress evidence of the Riot?

10. How did the white Tulsa newspaper describe the Massacre?

11. What happened with the trial of Dick Rowland, the man responsible for attempting to rape the white elevator worker that sparked the riot?

12. How was the Massacre suppressed?  How were blacks confined after the Massacre?

13. What would have happened to whites who harbored blacks or tried to help defenseless blacks during the Massacre?

Unit 7, Class 4: The Rise and Destruction of Black Wall Street

Suggested Vocabulary
Randomly ask students the definition of one of the following words. Then ask them to put the word in a sentence. This is a great exercise for the beginning or end of a class, or if you finish a class early.

whitewash - A whitewash is something that hides a wrong or illegal action:
[ C ] He called the report a whitewash.

alienate - cause (someone) to feel isolated or estranged.

biased - unfairly prejudiced for or against someone or something.

resentment -  bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.
"his resentment at being demoted"

capitulate - cease to resist an opponent or an unwelcome demand; surrender.
"the patriots had to capitulate to the enemy forces"

telegraph - send (someone) a message by telegraph.

distort - give a misleading or false account or impression of.
"many factors can distort the results"

chronicle - a factual written account of important or historical events in the order of their occurrence.

Grading Scale

13 questions. Each question is worth
8 points

1 incorrect, grade 92 - A

2 incorrect, grade 84 - B

3 incorrect, grade 76 - D​

4 incorrent, grade 68

5 incorrect, grade :(