In 1921 from May 31 to June 1, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history occurred. It is known as the Tulsa Race Riot and it was 18 hours full of violence. More than one thousand homes and businesses were destroyed and over 300 people were killed. The whole black community there was burned down to the ground. One of the last survivors of the riot, Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, has recently passed away at age 103. She is our terrific woman this Friday.
Dr. Hooker was only six years old when the Tulsa riot occurred. She said she remembered being woken up by thudding noises outside her window. Her mother made her look out her window and there she saw a machine gun not too far from her house. Her mother said, “That is a machine gun in the hill, and there’s an American Flag on it. That means that your country is shooting at you.”
Dr. Hooker has accomplished an abundance of things during her time her on earth. She graduated at Ohio State University and went on to teach third graders for seven years. After, she was a U.S. Coast Guard during World War II and was the first African American to serve on active duty in the Guard.
She attended Columbia University’s Teacher College to receive her Masters in Psychological Services and then received her doctorate from the University of Rochester. Dr. Hooker served as Director of Psychology and Association Administrator at New York’s Kennedy Child Study Center. While working there, she also taught at Fordham University in the school of Arts and Sciences.
Despite the horrific events she went through and the hundreds of people her and her community lost, Dr. Hooker has definitely made a positive impact towards this country. She was a determined lady who exemplified how strong black women are, and what they are capable of. Rest In Peace Dr. Olivia J. Hooker.
She was a girl with beauty and brains!