OKLAHOMA CITY — Olivia Hooker, one of many final survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race riots and among the many first black ladies within the U.S. Coast Guard, has died. She was 103.


Hooker was 6 years outdated when one of many worst race riots in U.S. historical past broke out and destroyed a lot of a Tulsa neighborhood often called “Black Wall Avenue.” She hid underneath a desk as a torch-carrying mob destroyed her household’s house, she instructed Nationwide Public Radio in an interview this yr.


She recalled listening to the mob use an axe to destroy her sister’s piano. For a kid, she stated, it was horrifying attempting to maintain quiet.


“Essentially the most stunning was seeing individuals you’d by no means completed something to annoy would simply, took it upon themselves to destroy your property as a result of they didn’t need you to have these issues,” stated Hooke , who died this week at her house in New York, based on her goddaughter.


The variety of deaths from the riot was by no means confirmed, however estimates differ from about three dozen to 300 or extra. The violence started after a black man allegedly assaulted a white girl in an elevator in Tulsa.


Following the riots, Hooker’s household moved. And through World Conflict II, she grew to become the primary African-American girl to hitch the U.S. Coast Guard as a member of the Semper Paratus program, or SPAR, by which she ready discharges for guardsmen getting back from the struggle and rejoining civilian life, based on the Coast Guard.


“She was a nationwide treasure, she was a really particular woman,” Coast Guard spokesman Barry Lane stated.


She went on to earn a grasp’s diploma from Columbia College and a Ph.D. in psychology from the College of Rochester, and later labored as a professor Fordham College in New York, based on the Coast Guard.


Her goddaughter, Janis Porter, stated Hooker died Wednesday at their house in White Plains, New York. Porter stated her godmother had no surviving family. She didn’t present a explanation for dying.


“Her thoughts was clear, no dementia. She was simply drained,” Porter stated Friday.


Hooker was additionally a member of the Tulsa Race Riot Fee, now referred to as the Tulsa Race Bloodbath Fee, which has sought reparations for these impacted by the violence and their survivors.




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