“The truth about Tulsa … was systematically ignored, perhaps because it was regarded as too honest, too painful a lesson for our young white ears,” Tom Hanks
wrote in a New York Times opinion piece on June 4 calling for schools to teach about the 1921 race massacre — one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism in U.S. history — to students as early as the fifth grade. “I find the omission tragic, an opportunity missed, a teachable moment squandered,” he continued.
In fact, instructing about the two-day attack, in which white mobs ravaged more than 1,500 Black-owned homes and businesses in the city’s thriving Greenwood district (the area earned the moniker Black Wall Street), has largely fallen to the small screen. When HBO’s “Watchmen
” debuted in 2019 with an opening scene depicting the brutality of the Tulsa massacre, some viewers were shocked to learn it was based on an actual event.