Olivia Hooker, one of the last survivors of the 1921 Black WallStreet Massacre, dies at 103

Olivia Hooker, one of the last survivors of the 1921 Black WallStreet Massacre, dies at 103

According to Washington Post

Olivia Hooker called it “The Catastrophe,” the notorious 48 hours of fire and death that leveled “Black Wall Street” in Tulsa. She was 6 at the time of the Tulsa Race Massacre, which erupted on May 31, 1921, when a white lynch mob descended on the courthouse where a black teenager was being held.

A group of black war veterans tried to protect the teen, and in the ensuing violence, as many as 300 black people died and thousands more saw their homes and livelihoods destroyed by torch. Some people were burned alive, and 40 square blocks of business and residential property — valued then at more than $1 million — were destroyed.

Dr. Hooker later was among the first black women to serve in the Coast Guard and retired as an associate professor of psychology at Fordham University in New York. But at the time of her death on Nov. 21 at 103, she had also become one of the last known survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre and an enduring witness to what is often regarded as the deadliest episode of racial violence in American history — and one that was long an afterthought in history texts, if mentioned at all.

In interviews, she recalled the details of the rampage through a young girl’s frightened eyes. Her father had been an owner of a department store in the community of Greenwood, a center of commerce known as Black Wall Street. When the mob marched on Greenwood, burning houses and shooting people in the street, her mother hid her and her siblings under a big oak dining-room table as their home was being ransacked.

“We could see what they were doing,” she told The Washington Post in June. “They took everything they thought was valuable. They smashed everything they couldn’t take. My mother had [opera singer Enrico] Caruso records she loved. They smashed the Caruso records.”

This was very powerful because we know something like this is coming on a national scale very soon. Just for the people who think it’s impossible for evil to happen so close to home. Wake up.