How Black Wall Street was built, and the quest for reparations : Planet Money 100 years ago, Black Wall Street was destroyed. But how was it built? And what does it take to get restitution? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
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Black Wall Street

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Black Wall Street

Black Wall Street

Black Wall Street

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Sue Ogrocki/AP
Chief Egunwale Amusan on the tour.
Sue Ogrocki/AP

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. In 1921, Greenwood, a prosperous Black neighborhood in North Tulsa was burned to the ground. The district was known as "Black Wall Street" for its financial success. But over the course of less than 24 hours, all of that was systematically destroyed by a white mob.

Over the past century, survivors of the massacre and their descendants have sought justice and restitution for what was lost. Most efforts have petered out, or were outright rejected. But now, a new lawsuit is on the table. Congress is paying attention. And President Biden visited the area this week, promising renewed focus on what happened. All eyes are on Tulsa. But will it be enough? Today on the show: The birth of Greenwood, Oklahoma. What was lost 100 years ago, and what could make this push for reparations different.

You can hear the six-part series "Blindspot: Tulsa Burning" here. The series is produced by the History Channel and WNYC Studios, in collaboration with KOSU and Focus Black Oklahoma.

Music: "Quiet Pursuit," "Cold Wind From The East," and "On The Inca Trail."

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