top of page

Unforgettable Scenes from the Tulsa Race War

An angry black man named Anderson points a Winchester rifle barrel in Greenwood co-founder O. W. Gurley’s face and calls him a liar a few hours before the shooting breaks out, after Gurley tries to convince a large gathering of men in the community that white Sheriff Willard McCullough, with whom Gurley has just visited, will protect Dick Rowland, the young black man the group fears will be lynched.

* * *

Horn blaring and tires squealing, a Cadillac races down a Main Street teeming with people enjoying an evening out, swerves toward an armed black man who had left the courthouse shootout moments earlier, and a young white woman aims a shotgun out the window and fires, dropping the black man.

* * *

While the negroes were congregating at Second and Cincinnati about 10 o’clock, J. L. Wilson, a (white) day (police) patrolman came into town in a jitney (taxi) not knowing what the trouble was about. The negroes saw him and in an instant he found himself in the hands of the mob.

“That’s one of them. Let’s lynch him,” t