Study Finds Tulsa Race Massacre is Still Hurting Black Homeownership and Wealth-Building

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The fallout from the Tulsa Race Massacre is still hurting Black homeownership and wealth-building to this day, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research study.

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre was one of the most violent incidents of racial violence in American history, causing an estimated $47 million in damages and the deaths of up to 300 African Americans. White residents in Tulsa looted and burned a 35-acre community of Black businesses including hotels, dentist and doctors offices, and banks.

Researchers Alex Albright, Jeremy Cook, James Feigenbaum, Laura Kincaide, Jason Long, and Nathan Nunn say the massacre served as “a warning about the potential destruction of wealth” that dragged Black homeownership and investment in other assets.

According to Business Insider, the massacre led to a significant drop in Black homeownership, which declined by 4.5% in Tulsa immediately after the massacre. The rate of Black Americans living in a home owned by a family member declined 6.3% and the number of Black blue-collar workers also declined.

The study also noted newspaper coverage of the massacre largely blamed Black Americans and Tulsa’s prosperity for it. The researchers said in areas exposed to such negative coverage of the massacre, Black Americans were less likely to invest in homes and other assets that push Americans into new socioeconomic areas.

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SOURCE: Black Enterprise, Derek Major