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Rest In Power: Remembering Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, One Of The Last Survivors Of Tulsa Race Riot

Rest In Power: Remembering Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, One Of The Last Survivors Of Tulsa Race Riot

Photo via: Fordham News 

Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, one of the last known survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, has passed away at the age of 103. 

Hooker was only six years old when a race riot broke out in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The neighborhood was known as Black Wall Street for its hundreds of successful Black-owned businesses, but within 18 hours on May 31- June 1, 1921, all of them were destroyed by white residents, including Hooker's father's clothing store. 

After the riot, which also took the lives of hundreds of Black residents, Hooker's family relocated to Topeka, Kansas and then later Columbus, Ohio. Hooker went on to blaze a trail as the first Black woman to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard and also obtained a doctorate degree in psychology. She spent her life dedicated to service and helping create a better future for us all. 

"Our parents tried to tell us, don’t spend your time agonizing over the past," Hooker said. "They encouraged us to look forward and think how we could make things better."  

Rest in power, Dr. Hooker. Your powerful legacy will continue to inspire us all. 

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