It Hits Close to Home

I've lived in Tulsa for just over a year now, but I'd spent my entire life in Arkansas until the big move. When poring through The Crisis, my first inclination was to see how many times Arkansas and Oklahoma appeared. It's no secret that both Arkansas and Oklahoma have had catastrophic racially motivated massacres. Using Voyant, I was able to pinpoint the related issues quickly, as well as compare their total mention frequencies.






I was somewhat...relieved? that Arkansas and Oklahoma didn't come up as frequently as the Deep South, but it was still gut-wrenching to read the listings of lynchings that occurred. The Elaine Massacre happened in early October 1919, but I was fascinated to read about a lumber plant employing 500 African Americans in Crossett and plans for new manufacturing plants in Hot Springs in the November Issue. A year and a half after the Elaine Massacre the Tulsa "Race Riot" Massacre occurred, and the July 1921 Issue  does feature a chilling report and a photograph of the devastation. This is the ugliest possible history, but it's absolutely crucial that we learn from it to heal the country and the people.