Commission changes name to describe massacre

Posted at 6:19 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 19:19:34-05

TULSA - A historical day for many in the Greenwood community with the change of one word.

The 1921 Race Riot Commission officially replaced the word ‘Riot’ with "Massacre’.

That change was also a topic of conversation at Thoreau Demonstration Academy.

"I posed the question: 'Riot' or 'massacre''? said Candice Pierce, a teacher at Thoreau Demonstration Academy.

For years, those two words meant the difference on how people viewed the 1921 Race Riots in Tulsa.

Pierce felt it was crucial to have a lesson over the subject.

"Some of them had heard about it, but they didn’t know about many of the details," Pierce said.

"High schools have to learn about Oklahoma history, so we should learn about the history now," said student Mia Meinen.  

With historical documents and survivor testimony to back it up, many students sided with the term ‘massacre’.

“We go to a school where there’s a whole bunch of different cultures around us and we have different types of friends and it’s cool to learn about our history,” said Frances Armah, of Thoreau Demonstration Academy.

"That’s the only way to reconcile it Is to face it, talk about it," said Pierce. "What are your feelings about it? How can we move from this and more importantly, how can we change our future?"

So that it never happens again.

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