For the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the New York Times has released an interactive experience, What the Tulsa Massacre Destroyed, that takes viewers through the streets of a digitally created and historically accurate Greenwood neighborhood, demonstrating the destruction the massacre created. Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma was considered the “Black Wall Street” in the 1920s and after a group of Black individuals tried to stop the lynching of a Greenwood resident, a mob of white people from the next town over opened fire on the small town, inciting what is still known as the singular worst display of racial violence the country has ever seen.
Hundreds of Greenwood residents were violently killed, homes and businesses destroyed—all by a mob of white gunmen and arsonists. What happened in Greenwood was hidden from history for decades and willfully ignored. This week, through the piecing together of maps, photographs, inherited stories from historians and tales from descendants, the story has slowly become more and more uncovered—and to understand its magnitude, there are many modes of engagement.
The New York Times interactive experience takes viewers through the streets and shows which buildings were burned to the ground, where the most violence existed and the names of the people and businesses that were destroyed. As viewers scroll through, it becomes more and more immersive, grappling with the reality of what was lost.
The program takes you all the way through Greenwood and highlights everything known about the massacre. Photos of the businesses and storefronts accompany the 3-D experience, making it all the more harrowing. What the Tulsa Massacre Destroyed includes photographs of the residents and their stories as well as maps with information on where the majority of the violence ensued.
The program is now live on the New York Times website and more information can be found here.