In the early 1900’s, the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma was commonly referred to as the ‘Black Wall Street’. It was a predominantly African American town that was booming due to the nearby discovery of oil. It was a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family – but that all changed on May 31, 1921. In a matter of hours, the town was burnt to ashes and its estimated that up to 300 people were murdered. Historian Scott Ellsworth tells the largely untold story of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
Segregation not only divides cities but leads to divided people as well. It fuels biases against people who may look or act different than us, leading to generations of inequity and discrimination. Viewpoints speaks with social justice activist, Tonika Johnson about the many impacts’ segregation has had on the city of Chicago.
George Floyd was 46 years old when he was murdered on the street by ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The father of five moved to the Midwest city in 2014 where he worked driving a truck and providing security at a local restaurant. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Floyd lost his security job. On May 25, Floyd was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a local store and officers were called to the scene. The question remains: how can a simple police call lead to the killing of an unarmed and unresisting man? For weeks, protests and outrage have spread across the U.S. and internationally as the killing of Floyd brings racial inequality and police brutality into focus once again. Even in the midst of a pandemic, people are showing up to say they’re fed up with the lack of equal justice, rights and opportunities for all.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the housing crisis as many millions of Americans can no longer afford to pay rent or their monthly mortgage. Viewpoints speaks with two housing experts about why so many people struggle to find affordable housing in the U.S. and one possible solution to the problem.
Imagine being born into slavery in the South. You don't have a dime to your name, received no education and all you know are the surrounding fields of the plantation you worked on. What would you do after the abolishment of slavery? How would you start over? February is Black History Month - and as we remember the past and the period of slavery in America, it’s important to not only take in the perspectives of historians and educators, but also direct firsthand accounts from those formerly enslaved. Viewpoints’ speaks with historian and photographer, Richard Cahan, co-author of the new book River of Blood: American Slavery From the People Who Lived It.