Dr. Olivia J. Hooker: Last Survivor of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street (Video)

2 Posted by - April 18, 2016 - BLACK WOMEN, LATEST POSTS

Greenwood, Oklahoma was coined the Black Wall Street. It was a prosperous town filled with African-Americans who were living well and operating their own businesses. However, because of jealousy, deceit, and discrimination, Greenwood was burned to the ground by white racists on June 1, 1921. Over 10,000 black men, women, and children lost their homes and some their life during this time. However, one remarkable lady survived the travesty and still lives to tell her story.

Dr. Olivia Hooker is the “last survivor of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street. Today, she is 101 years old and resides in White Plains, New York and is a retired professor of Fordham University.

Dr. Hooker was just 6-years-old when the burning of Black Wall Street in Oklahoma occurred. Although, most people see what happened as a riot on Black Wall Street, Dr. Hooker refers to it as what it truly was a “planned desecration.” White people wanted blacks to stay in their place and destroying what little they had was a way keeping them down and breaking their spirit.

As many parents did before the attack, Dr. Hooker’s parents shielded her from the racism and discrimination that blacks faced daily. However, that night of June 1, 1921, Dr. Hooker’s eyes opened to the hatred White people felt toward Blacks. Despite the attack that occurred in Oklahoma that night and the effect one can only imagine it would have on a 6-year-old child, Dr. Hooker went on to become a psychologist and the “first black woman” to serve in the United States Coast Guard. Watch as Dr. Hooker share her story below in the video.

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