During our annual meeting this year in Orlando, one of our speakers, Kevin Dixie, reminded us that many folks never had the opportunity to learn about this or other events that substantially impacted African American communities around the country.

At 103 years old, Dr. Hooker was the last remaining known survivor of the 1921 massacre of over 300 men and women, with 8000 people being displaced in the burning of Black Wall Street. Dr. Hooker went on to join the Coast Guard and then to become an associate professor at Fordham University.

https://www.theroot.com/dr-olivia-hooker-1921-tulsa-race-massacre-survivor-an-1830631406

As one of the last survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, she served as one of the final witnesses to the deadliest episode of racial violence in American history. The same history that America refuses to take accountability for and conveniently omits from our history books.

If you aren’t familiar with this story, it’s sadly not surprising. Events like this one have been whitewashed from our history books and many don’t know that these things happened, even more recently than people think.

Since KD was at our annual meeting this year, and spoke specifically about this subject, we asked him for his thoughts on her passing, and he passed along this message that we share with you.

Dr. Hooker passing leaves many of us mourning. A spirit that has seen so much and overcome even more. A woman who transcended her prime years by being the first African American woman to join the United States Coast Guard. Hooker is also the last known witness of the horrific tragedy of the Tulsa, OK riots of Black Wall Street. She knows first hand how it feels to watch the world burn around you; however, she refused to submit to the tyranny. With her passing we lost a legend but gained another eternal leader. Thank you Olivia J. Hooker for refusing to give up and paying the ultimate price for fortunate individuals like myself to have a chance at a future. “My ancestors paid the price, I’m just the receipt” -Kevin “KD” Dixie

Events like this are what lead to the creation of the Deacons of Defense and the Black Panthers- as the police failed to stand up and protect these communities, simply because of the color of their skin.