Art gallery paying tribute to Tulsa Race Massacre victims vandalized in Manhattan

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Art gallery paying tribute to Tulsa Race Massacre victims vandalized
Jim Dolan has more on the act of vandalism that took place at the gallery dedicated to victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

SOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police are investigating an act of vandalism overnight outside an art gallery that is honoring the victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

The Soho gallery is currently featuring Black artists in a tribute to mark 100 years since the massacre.

In 1921, a white mob descended on a prosperous Black neighborhood known as Black Wall Street. Homes and businesses were destroyed and hundreds of Black Americans were killed over two days of bloodshed.

The vandalism outside the gallery on 26 Mercer Street included white paint scribbled over the Black Wall Street Gallery sign at the entrance of the exhibit.

Curated by gallery owner Dr. Ricco Wright, a fourth-generation Tulsan, 21 Piece Salute honors those who lost their lives and livelihoods in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and celebrates Black entrepreneurship.

"There's a price for social justice and apparently this is it," Wright said.

It is believed the vandalism happened sometime between 11 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday even though the sign has been up for weeks.

Wright doesn't believe the timing was a coincidence.

"I don't believe in coincidences, in fact I think this is very deliberate and intentional, we come here, open up on Thursday, and on the very date on which the massacre happened 100 years ago, this happens overnight," Wright said.

Wright believes the anniversary and the vandalism at the gallery filled with the art of Black artists may be a good time for New Yorkers to reflect on their own history.

"Racism and slavery have been a part of New York's history and New Yorkers just haven't known, so this just illuminates that fact," Wright said.

The NYPD Hate Crimes task force was notified and is investigating.

The exhibition runs from May 27 to June 19.

RELATED | Tulsa Race Massacre: Story behind Black Wall Street, racist mob that burned it to the ground

Exactly 100 years ago, a white mob stormed Tulsa's Greenwood District -- its fabled Black Wall Street.


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