Tulsa Man Explains How Race Troubles There May Be Settled by Moving Negro Section to Remote Part of City

The Evening World (New York)/July 1, 1921

“Every one knew that something was going to happen in Tulsa,” said W. H. Honnold of Tulsa, Okla., who is at the Astor. “The recent trouble there was the result of a series of incidents. In the first place, the whites went continually to the negro quarter for whiskey and beer, and trouble often resulted. The rich negroes began to arm themselves, and though every one knew it, no effort was made to stop them. The present Administration has long been under fire, and the newspapers which formerly supported it, recently condemned it without reservation.

“When I left Tulsa, many of the prominent city officials had been indicted by the Grand Jury, and the belief was prevalent that all of them would soon be brought to trial.

“There have always been fights in the negro district because whites went there. At the time of the trouble no lynching was actually attempted. The negroes, however, heard that one was expected and went armed into the white section. The whites at once attempted to take the guns from the negroes and shots were fired. That started the trouble.

“The better class of people in Tulsa have little sympathy for the negroes, for of late they have been trouble makers. However, when the race riot was over everything possible was done to remedy their condition. The negro section is completely devastated and a move is on foot to buy it up complete and start a commercial section there, particularly as it is near the railroad terminal. The negroes will be offered better quarters at a point farther away from the town proper.

“At the time the militia was called out all members of the American Legion in Tulsa and surrounding towns were sworn in as special officers. They were armed with pistols, shotguns—in fact, almost every variety of firearm. They did much to keep the disorder from recurring. Today the legionnaires from the surrounding towns have been dismissed, but the members of the Tulsa posts are still on duty.”