DeKalb, IL — A group of young students are working to virtually bring back businesses destroyed in the Tulsa Race Massacre a century ago.
The Tulsa Race Massacre occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked Tulsa, Oklahoma’s thriving Greenwood District, home to the city’s African American community, killing hundreds and destroying businesses. The massacre is considered one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history.
To remember the loss of businesses from May 31 to June 1, 1921, Urban Coders Guild is working with local students to build websites for the businesses destroyed. Organizers behind the website hope that it will help spur knowledge around the horrific event and teach students coding skills along the way.
“The students were given some creative license to use their combined skill sets to create an awesome website for each business that tells that business’ story as if it were an existing business today,” said Mikeal Vaughn, founder and executive director of Urban Coders Guild, according to Next City.
Erina Katoh, 14, is among a group of students focusing on The Cozy Barber Shop, which was destroyed during the massacre.
The website will be created to what it would possibly look like now, Katoh said. It also includes information about the barbershop, location and the owner.
Emilia Nguyen, an 11-year-old 6th grader, was aware of the Tulsa Race Massacre before the project but wanted to get involved in learning more about her community.
“I’m not going to say that it’s super easy, but it’s definitely a good learning experience, and it’s super fun because you get to spend time with other people and interact with them and ask them about their different opinions on things,” Nguyen said, according to Next City. “You get other people’s insight on your work, and they’ll tell you what they know, and you tell them what you know.”