TULSA, Okla. — The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre is a dark piece of the city's history that has effects nearly a century later.
The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre is one example of historical trauma, and it's a topic at a a symposium called "Healing from Historical Trauma" happening Friday in Tulsa.
2 Works for You spoke with Mental Health Association Oklahoma Program Director Mark Davis, a clinical social worker and an expert on "historical trauma."
“Emotionally disturbing, very negatively psychologically impacting,” Davis said.
Historical trauma is described as a large event with a negative impact, negative situations, or a series of negative circumstances that impacts generations of people.
“(It can) Result in deep levels of unresolved grief and feelings of stress, depression, emotional suffrage and pain,” Davis said.
One prime example is the Tulsa Race Massacre. The area was a prosperous black business district including over 20 churches, more than 30 restaurants, medical facilities and more. All destroyed, burned to the ground in 1921.
“Many of the individuals had insurance coverage on their homes and businesses," Davis said. "And many of the insurances weren’t honored by the city.”
Despite insurance not being honored by officials, community leaders came together to rebuild Black Wall Street. Today, there is only one block left standing.
“That feeling of what I said early, that emotional grief, that pain, that suffrage that hasn’t been dealt with, that hasn’t been reconciled,” Davis said. “People couldn’t say, 'Hey my place got looted, it got burned, it was completely destroyed, my business is worth $20,000, and I would like to recoup that money to rebuild',” Davis said.
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