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Rest In Peace Dr. Olivia J. Hooker: A Survivor of The Tulsa Race Riots

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Dr. Olivia J. Hooker was an African American psychologist and one of few remaining survivors of one of America’s darkest racial atrocities, The Tulsa Race Riot also known as the Tulsa Massacre. She recently died this Wednesday before Thanksgiving. She lived to the age of 103 and has achieved a lot accomplishments during her long life.

Tweet Provided by Admiral Karl Schultz

 Accomplishments

Dr. Hooker was the first black woman to join the United States Coast Guard in 1945 after being rejected from the Navy twice. She served until 1946 after World War II had ended.

She obtained her masters and doctorates degree in psychology. Eventually she became a professor of psychology at Fordham University where she had a focus on people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Oh! Not to mention she’s a founder of the American Psychological Division 33.

In 2015 President Barack Obama recognized her in his commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. In his address he says, “a passionate advocate for Americans with disabilities, a psychologist counseling young children, a caregiver at the height of the AIDS epidemic, a tireless voice for justice and equality.” 

The Coast Guard also named a building after her on Staten Island in 2015. Not to mention she’s also an advocate for civil rights.

Tulsa Race Riot & Death of Black Wall Street

Dr. Hooker remembers the racially fueled attack on the Greenwood neighborhood from mobs of white people who were upset over an allegation of a young black man assaulting a white woman in the elevator. 

Dubbed the Black Wall Street Greenwood was a neighborhood where blacks had enough money to be able to support each other during the time where Oklahoma state laws segregated them from being unable to go anywhere else to get their goods and services they needed.

In 1921 after Dick Rowland was accused of assaulting a white woman a white mob assembled outside of the courthouse ready to lynch him. However a group of World War I veterans countered them and shots were fired. After this it was a wrap. The tyrannical mob was ready to burn down Greenwood to the group.

When the mobs arrived at Dr. Hooker’s house her mother hid her and her siblings under the dining room table with a tablecloth and instructed them to not make a sound no matter what. The mob broke into their house and destroyed her sister’s piano and her fathers record player amongst some of their possessions. 

The attack on Greenwood  lasted for over 18 hours and resulted in 10,000 black people becoming homeless. Approximately 1000 homes and businesses were destroyed and between 36 to 85 people were killed during this domestic terrorist attack. 

Aftermath

The devastation caused by the mob attacks caused many families including Dr. Hooker’s to move and restart their lives over again. Others chose to stays and start rebuilding their lives over.

Dr. Hooker’s family moved to Topeka Kansas and eventually settled in Ohio. Her father went on a tour on the east coast to gain support to help others back in Tulsa rebuild their lives after the attack on Greenwood.

The attack on Dr. Hooker didn’t stop her from achieving greatness. She was able to be recognized by many and in her death her legacy will live on in the history books.

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For The Culture

#MyWhitePrivilege Spotlights Further Racial Disparities

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#MyWhitePrivilege

Employing the hashtag #MyWhitePrivilege, Twitter users have shed light on the various ways they’ve survived interactions that frequently claim the lives of Black or brown people.

Everyone knows that the justice system unfairly prosecutes Black and brown people at a rate far harsher than their white counterparts. But the extent to which white people avoid experiencing the treatment people of color face in America is vast. One user described their experience growing up in a small town with no Black population:

“Growing up in a small town with no Black folks meant that the poor were often scapegoated. Anytime something happened or went missing, the cops were at our house looking for my brother. We survived all of those interactions though.”

As unsurprising as their experience was, they continued with details that truly highlight disparity in racial treatment with regard to the prison industrial complex. Not only did their brother evade prison, they received rehabilitation, therapy to deal with their traumas, and suffered no loss of education or employment opportunities. Throughout the thread of tweets, other users shared similar experiences with the law where despite their behavior or knowledge of their criminal history, they avoided punishment.

As Black Twitter users read the replies, some were struck with awe and others reflected on the struggles they faced. Many lamented over the difficult conversations they prepared to have with their children. The nearly 20K replies contain experiences with law enforcement through local authorities, TSA, Immigration officers, and even school police.

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Not On Our Watch! Howard Uni President Bans Campus Colonizers

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As a response to student reports of unauthorized use of The Yard, Howard University President, Wayne A.I. Frederick has released a statement demanding pet owners respect the campus.

An email sent to Howard University staff and students notified them of the President’s decision to mark the private institution’s grounds off limits. Calling the quad a “treasured site”, Frederick affirmed the community’s desire to keep the area “pristine and symbolic of all that Howard University represents.” Acknowledging the history of residents’ visitation to the campus, Frederick referenced the community relationship before making a formal decision.

“At the beginning of my presidency we held regular meetings that included students, faculty and members of the Advisory Neighborhood Committees to cultivate a town and gown relationship. I recently reached out to our local ANC and Councilwoman to engage in a dialogue. We recognize that service animals are a necessary aspect of modern-day life and we will accommodate them as needed. We appreciate pet owners respecting out campus by not bringing pets onto the private areas.”

Last week, reports of residents from gentrified surrounding areas mistreating the northwest Washington D.C. school made waves on social media. Insensitive comments regarding who was privileged to access the campus sparked public outrage among those who wanted to protect Howard’s 152-year legacy.

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Keep Walking, Colonizer! Howard University Students Say Neighbors are Disrespecting The Yard

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White people’s sense of entitlement knows no bounds and has now extended to the campus of famed HBCU, Howard University. The 152-year-old private educational institution located in D.C. has been misused by residents who believe The Yard should be accessible to them as a dog park or outdoor gym.

Students of Howard University have taken offense to colonizers and gentrifiers in northwest Washington D.C in recent years. As wealthy, White residents continue to flood areas surrounding the university, they take liberties they have neither earned nor deserve on the school grounds. Students say they “find it very disrespectful” and have noted a marked increase of such behavior throughout their attendance.

Where students would have seen one or two out-of-place dog walkers on campus in a week, they see two each day. Graduating senior, Briana Littlejohn, spoke with The DCist, about the residents’ use of the campus, stating, “You know this is a university. You know this is a historically Black university. And you feel so entitled that you’re just going to walk your dog there?” Many other attendees feel the same, but their outrage has recently been met with unreasonable alternatives by residents.

Speaking with Fox 5 correspondent, Tisha Lewis, Sean Grubbs-Robishaw who lives in the Bloomingdale neighborhood said the following:

“So, they’re in part of D.C. so they have to work within D.C. If they don’t want to be within D.C., then they can move the campus. I think we just need to work together and I don’t think it should be a he or there or here…It’s our community and that’s how it should be.”

Sean Grubbs-Robishaw,

Grubbs-Robishaw admits to using the grounds as a shortcut to get to the McMillan Reservoir, a popular spot for walking/running. But his argument conveniently glosses over the fact that Howard University is a private institution while also disregarding its status as a historically Black university.

The campus has been mistreated by those new to the area as a location for picnics and other abuses. The university has yet to directly state that such activities are prohibited by residents, Alonda Thomas, a spokesperson, has said there is no policy prohibiting dogs and that the campus is “open”, meaning anyone has access to it.

Do you think the disrespect that Howard University campus is receiving is related in any way to the #DontMuteDC protest? Do you think the campus should be closed to the public?

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