by Oscar Blayton, Esq.
Centennials are usually celebratory affairs. Marking the passing of 100 years since a significant event, by its nature, can occur only once. For this reason, it is no surprise that people take these opportunities to conduct parades, give speeches and enjoy a hearty, self-administered pat on the back.
But when the significant event 100 years in the past is one of mass murder and a glaring manifestation of the race hatred that has been endemic in America since its founding, centennials take on a different significance.
Revisiting a horrific event such as the 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on its 100th anniversary brings with it a need for reflection that does not generate self-congratulation. Rather, it requires a measurement and evaluation of the quality of progress – or lack of progress – in improving race relations and ensuring equal justice for all people that is promised in the Constitution.
For months, in anticipation of the Tulsa race massacre centennial, accounts of that...