“Watchmen” brought attention to the tragic 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and now Oklahoma schools will be adding the event to their curriculum…
“Watchmen” creator Damon Lindelof was horrified after he learned about the events that unfolded in the tragic 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre where hundreds of African-Americans were slaughtered at the hands of a white-led mob that stormed through the Greenwood district of town.
The racially motivated attack saw a white mob numbering more than 10,000 invade the Greenwood district, setting fire to businesses and killing at least 300 hundred African-Americans with hundreds more unaccounted for after the slaughter ended.
What was even more disturbing to Lindelof was that his knowledge about this event was never taught to him in school and he had to seek out information to even understand what exactly happened on that fateful night where the area called “Black Wall Street” was burned to the ground. In order to put the spotlight on the Tulsa Race Massacre, Lindelof decided to incorporate a fictionalized version of the events into “Watchmen” while making the tragedy a centerpiece for the story he told throughout the season.
“I was 43 or 44, and I wondered how could it be that I’ve never heard about this,” Lindelof said. “Then I read more, and I said Tulsa was the right place to set the show.”
A lot of people were shocked to find out the events carried out in “Watchmen” actually happened and serious attention was paid to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre for the first time in decades.
Now Oklahoma schools will rectify the lack of understanding about this horrific moment in American history by ensuring the story of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre is taught as part of the curriculum going forward.
“What we want to ensure is that we are teaching in a grade-appropriate level those facts that have not been taught in a way they should have been taught in Oklahoma. This is our history and we should know it,” State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said during a press conference.
Lessons about the 1921 Race Massacre will be taught from the elementary level all the way through high school as Oklahoma deals with a subject that one state senator called “Tulsa’s dirty secret.”
At the time when the race massacre happened, Tulsa’s Greenwood district was arguably the most prominent and successful place for black businesses in the United States. Nearly 100 years later, residents are still haunted by those events but at least now students growing up in Oklahoma will be educated on what exactly happened on that tragic night in 1921.