Each week, Into America, hosted by MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee, examines what it means to be Black in America—as told by the people who have the most at stake.
This podcast, which celebrated 100 episodes earlier this year, has featured a myriad of stories that address the countless manifestations of racial inequality, including warrant reform, the Great Migration, and the racial reckoning that America underwent after the murder of George Floyd.
“If we are who we say we are, and we want to be a better country, and we want to be more unified, I think we have to engage with our past,” Lee told USA Today in February. “And we have yet to do that.”
In his quest to bridge that gap, Into America is releasing “Blood on Black Wall Street,” a two-part series that honors the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre and investigates what actually transpired.
In the first part, Lee travels to Tulsa, Okla., to meet the Bagbys, whose thriving business in Tulsa’s famed Greenwood district was destroyed. He also meets the Eaton family, whose business somehow survived the chaos. Through each of their stories, Lee demonstrates the connection between inherited property and wealth, and explains how the massacre, and the subsequent policies that followed, have exacerbated the racial wealth gap over the last century and have made it so difficult for the Black community to rebuild.
For those who are unfamiliar with the unspeakable devastation that occurred during the Tulsa Race Massacre, via a press release, MSNBC explains it succinctly as such:
In less than 48 hours, from May 31 to June 1, 1921, the community was destroyed. Death tolls are disputed, but 300 Black people are believed to have been killed. Thousands were left homeless, and generations later, families are still struggling to recover their lost wealth. There were $1.8 million in property loss claims at the time, and some experts estimate that in today’s dollars, the white mob decimated $200 million of Black property.
As someone who was raised in Tulsa, this story is deeply personal to me because it not only shaped my childhood, but had a ripple effect throughout my entire community. I encourage any and all who are unfamiliar with everything that transpired during the Tulsa Race Massacre to educate themselves on this travesty, and a great place to start is by listening to Into America’s “Blood on Black Wall Street” series.
Intro America is available on your podcast platform of choice.