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How 60 years of racial violence shaped America

The acts of racial violence that we have described here represent just a few of the atrocities historians continue to learn today.

Birthdays, like Tulsa’s, become an opportunity for entire cities to reexamine their pasts, and we’ve found that individuals do a lot of this work – whether professional historians or history buffs. local.

Local media played a key role in publicizing the work of historians which sparked conversations about these events. We’ve also seen newspapers that have been able to rely on their own records for these re-investigations, such as the Chicago Tribune.

Researchers who have long studied these events are increasingly combining them in digital projects, where the models are more visible to a wider audience. The Racial Violence Archives were created by Professor Geoff Ward of the University of Washington in St. Louis. He told CNN that he created the archives because he saw that so many of these stories had been deleted and that “the digital archives offer another avenue in this research and hopefully the computational work.” .

James Loewen, who wrote the bestseller “Lies My Teacher Told Me” before his book “Sundown Towns”, has long had a database where he and his small, mostly volunteer team collect submissions on towns that have attempted to hunt people of color. He told CNN he always hears about new incidents and puts them on his site.

Organizations like, the Smithsonian Institution, and PBS have also posted free resources on this story online.

Like Forsyth, communities across the country are working with the Equal Justice Initiative and others to erect markers commemorating their stories of violence, an interesting phenomenon as more Confederation monuments fall.

Finally, whenever we researched an incident for this project, we looked to see if there had been an official refund of funds or return of ownership. In many cases, governments have issued formal apologies or recognized victims of racial violence, but survivors and descendants have rarely received any monetary compensation for what they have suffered.

This includes the Tulsa Massacre in 1921, for which no one was ever held accountable, and no compensation was provided to those who survived despite continued efforts.

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