American actor Tom Hanks brought to light the dark and racist past of America and urged his fellow countrymen to learn about the issue.
The detailed column published in NYT was a way for the actor to push Americans into learning more about the problematic history of the country including the 1921 Tulsa race massacre—which he argued many were not educated about. The incident involved a white mob setting the Black neighbourhood of Greenwood, known as Black Wall Street, on fire.
"Many students like me were told that the lynching of Black Americans was tragic but not that these public murders were commonplace and often lauded by local papers and law enforcement," wrote Hanks.
"Should our schools now teach the truth about Tulsa? Yes, and they should also stop the battle to whitewash curriculums to avoid discomfort for students,” he went on to say.
"History was mostly written by white people about white people like me, while the history of Black people — including the horrors of Tulsa — was too often left out," he continued.
"America's history is messy but knowing that makes us a wiser and stronger people. 1921 is the truth, a portal to our shared, paradoxical history,” he added.