I Grew Up in a Sundown Town and Didn’t Know it Until I Was 48: The Vital Importance of Teaching America’s Ugly History to Our Children

I was forty-eight when I first heard the names, Dick Rowland and Sarah Paige. Rowland was a Black teenage shoeshiner, Paige a White teenage elevator operator.

When Rowland left his shoeshine post in downtown Tulsa on May 30, 1921, to use the nearest restroom a Black could use in those days, he had no idea that a misstep in the Drexel Building elevator would lead to the deadliest, most devastating race…