Taking a harder look at America’s racial reckoning

ABC News’ David Wright reports on how the aftermath of George Floyd’s death has led to re-examining the legacy of lesser-known race-based violence in U.S. history.
5:53 | 07/11/20

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Transcript for Taking a harder look at America’s racial reckoning
It's just over six weeks since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis rock to the nation unleashing waves of protest and renewed examination of our country's long struggle with racial violence including. Instances long forgotten or often never known by many Americans like the massacre in Tulsa in 1921. But is it BC's David Wright exporters Tulsa is just one of many events at our country's past that were never included in history books history that needs to be reckoned with as we search for a way forward. The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in broad daylight as shocking as it was to witness was hardly. One of a kind incident lose. I'll mention. In broad daylight. No use being filmed looking into the camera. Looking into an audience when two officers. Supporting him before George Floyd there was Eric garner Staten Island and. Before that presumably countless other incidents not caught on camera. All the way back to the beating of Rodney King in LA ranking was first. Rodney King is the first case so we have where it's on DD. Black he would say yeah edited every day. And when an all white jury in Simi Valley, California cleared those LAPD officers of police brutality. California's governor has declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles south central LA erupted. The violent LA uprising. Harken back to the 1960s. To wants and later to the anger that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. him. Professor Arthur garrison has closely studied the history of racial violence in America. He's the author of a new book chain to the system the history and politics a black incarceration. In America. The idea is that race riots it is an eruption of black anger. Burning everything they could spark right that is the narrative we don't know that most riots in American history. Our white race riots. Against blacks not the other way around. Incidence. Dead seemed to me. History. Yeah George national. Forefront in recent weeks. As a result of the focus on this issue details like the massacre in Tulsa. Of the prosperous Greenwood neighborhood the negro Wall Street as Booker T. Washington called it Burke to the ground by a white mom. We talk about civil rights starting with. Brown V board of education are we think that's when all history began right. Right rosewood is when is is is 1923. But Tulsa. Was just one of many pages in the dark history of the Jim Crow era. Rosewood in 1923 this woman says that she was raped by a black man in the white community and rosewood. Rose up and wipes out the entire. Lack neighborhood and chased the survivors. Out of Florida never to be noted to be seen again and of course red summer in 1919. Was sixty cities. There just over a period the summer. Attack the blacks for various reasons. Some of them economic some of them political some of them racial as garrison puts it slavery and the Jim Crow period that followed slavery. Was systematic. Racism. The crime now widely acknowledged but the details often glossed over. It's easy to beat up on slavery. People don't remember or don't want to remember Jim Crow and if they do they say well that's Overton 68. Rare. One of the most powerful moments of Barack Obama's presidency. Was the day he gave the eulogy for a South Carolina preacher. Gunned down by a white racist who had attended a Bible study of mother Emmanuel church in Charleston. Grace is not merited. There's not something we lose our. Rather grace is the free. And enough favor got. The mass murder of nine people in 2015. Wasn't the first time this particular church. One of the oldest African American churches in the south. Has been the focus of racial violence the original church. Brit down by a group of angry whites decades before the civil war the congregation outlawed after a slave rebellion. Black lives matter marches today are not new the issues tragically still largely the same. Here's yeah. This is a moment have changed or is this going to be just won a long series. The original when. Because. No one living in the United States has seen a full scale lynching. Watching on TV watch documentaries. Okay they're right there was not full scale. Real life. Lynching. In this case there is no ambiguity about right and wrong. And it's just not possible to look the other way. And ignore it. Can no longer be ignored our thanks to David Wright for that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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