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Buck Colbert “B.C.” Franklin is known as the lawyer who won the court victory for black residents after the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
Franklin was born in 1879 and was named after his grandfather, who had been an enslaved African of a Chickasaw family in Oklahoma. After completing his studies, he opened up his law practice in the predominately white town of Ardmore, Oklahoma. However, the racial tension at the time was so strong, he decided to relocate to Tulsa and focus his practice on helping people in the black communities.
The Greenwood District of Tulsa was one of the wealthiest enclaves of blacks in the nation, and was known as “Black Wall Street.” After the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that destroyed the district, he led the legal fight against the City Council of Tulsa, who had passed an ordinance keeping Tulsa’s blacks from rebuilding the neighborhoods that had been affected.
Franklin filed suit against the city of Tulsa before the Oklahoma Supreme Court. His efforts were successful, and due to his actions. black residents were able to begin rebuilding their community.
Note: The “Remembering Black Wall Street” signage that I designed, at the corner of Greenwood & Archer, is a list of Greenwood businesses from 1935, 14 yrs after the Massacre and the district had rebuilt
Franklin penned his experience in an autobiography. However, he died in 1960 before the book was published. John Hope Franklin, one of his four children, went on to become a prominent historian and civil rights advocate. John Hope Franklin and his son would later finish Buck Franklin’s autobiography, “My Life and An Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin.”

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By wmb3331

Isaiah Israel is a graduate of the University of Hawaii Pacific with a bachelors in Psychology and a deep love for history in which he believes that when you know the past you can understand the present and predict the future course of man and mankind and is the author of the best selling ebook The White Man's Burden Of Lies and Deceit.

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