One of the Last Survivors of Infamous Oklahoma Riots, Dr. Olivia Hooker, Dies at Age 103
She was one of the last survivors and few first-hand witnesses of the Tulsa Race Massacre that led to the destruction of Black Wall Street.
Dr. Olivia Hooker, one of the last survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots, passed away on Nov. 21 at age 103.
Dr. Hooker, an accomplished professor and psychologist, was also the first Black woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard in 1945.
She was a mere 6-years-old when one of the worst race riots in U.S. history broke out and demolished much of a Tulsa neighborhood known as "Black Wall Street." She hid under a table as torch-carrying white terrorists destroyed her family's home. She shared that experience with NPR radio earlier this year.
Dr. Hooker recalled hearing the mob use an ax to destroy her sister's piano. For a child, she said, "It was horrifying trying to keep quiet."
"The most shocking was seeing people you'd never done anything to irritate would just, took it upon themselves to destroy your property because they didn't want you to have those things," said Hooker detailing the horrific experience explicitly.
That moment in her life seemed to fuel her path to greatness. Her family left the town and during World War II, she became the first African-American woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard as a member of the Semper Paratus program, or SPAR, where she prepared discharges for guardsmen returning from the war and rejoining civilian life.
Admiral Karl Schulz of US Coast Guard honored Dr. Hooker for her service in a heartfelt tweet:
"She was a national treasure, she was a very special lady," Coast Guard spokesman Barry Lane said.
She went on to earn a master's degree from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Rochester, and later worked as a professor Fordham University in New York.
Dr. Hooker served as a member of the Tulsa Race Riot Commission, now called the Tulsa Race Massacre Commission, which has sought reparations for those impacted by the violence and their survivors.
Christopher Paul Hasson's intended targets included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Cory Booker and CNN's Don Lemon.
Authorities have arrested Christopher Paul Hasson, a 49-year-old coast guard lieutenant, who intended to conduct a mass killing.
Hasson is a self-proclaimed white nationalist who had a detailed plan to execute prominent Democratic politicians as well as several journalists from CNN and MSNBC. He devised his plan with inspiration from Anders Breivik, who successfully completed terrorist attacks in 2011 that killed 77 people in Norway.
In order to get prepared to carry out his mission, Hasson accumulated steroids and human growth hormone "to increase his ability to conduct attacks," as outlined in Breivik's manifesto.
According to court documents filed on Tuesday, Hasson intended "to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country."
Documents also state that "the defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct."
A spokesman for the US Coast Guard Headquarters, Barry Lane stated, "An active duty Coast Guard member, stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., was arrested last week on illegal weapons and drug charges as a result of an ongoing investigation led by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, in cooperation with the FBI and Department of Justice."
Because this is an open investigation, the Coast Guard has no further details at this time.
While the master plan was to "kill almost every last person on the earth," his current hit list consisted of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Kamala Harris of California, as well as former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas. Journalists on the list included CNN's Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones and MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Ari Melber and Joe Scarborough.
When law enforcement agents searched Hasson's house, they found 15 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Hasson is scheduled to appear in Court on Thursday for a hearing.
Black women are twice as likely to feel pressured to straighten their hair than white women.
The series is written by and starring Ryan O'Connell, author of "I'm Special: And Other Lies We tell Ourselves."
With "The Big Bang Theory" winding down, Jim Parsons, better known as "Sheldon," is taking a role behind the scenes as the executive producer of the new series "Special."
The show, set to debut on Netflix on April 12, is loosely based on the upbringing and experience of Ryan O'Connell, a gay man living with cerebral palsy. O'Connell authored a 2015 book called "I'm Special: And Other Lies We tell Ourselves."
O'Connell stars in the series, along with Jessica Hecht, Punam Patel, Marla Mindelle, Augustus Prew and Patrick Fabian. He also wrote the show and will executive produce with Parsons, Eric Norsoph and Todd Spiewak.
Both Parsons and O'Connell took to social media to celebrate:
Special comes out April 12th on Netflix. Critics are already calling it "gay" and "disabled" so you know it must be good! https://t.co/o7rtrDqQVO
— Ryan O'Connell (@ryanoconn) February 5, 2019
O'Connell has a long resume filled with stints on some prominent writing teams. He has written for MTV's "Awkward" and the reboot of "Will and Grace."
At this time, being gay is more acceptable than having cerebral palsy, he said.
"Being gay is chic now," he told NBC Out. "Cerebral palsy will never be chic."
But, hopefully "Special" will make being disabled cool just like "The Big Bang Theory" made being a nerd cool.
O'Connell has never been politically correct about his disability referring to himself as a "gimp."
"Honey, I've walked in these orthotics for 29 years. I own the f—ing right to say 'gimp,'" O'Connell said.
O'Connell's disability affects his fine motor skills and causes his muscles to be stiff.
Having a disability when you are gay is difficult, according to O'Connell. He used to refuse to go to the bathroom when he was on a date in fear that his date would notice his limp. He would avoid walking in front of people and eventually took to drugs as a way to cope with his disability.
"I had the choice to turn [my disability] into this big giant monster, or it could be this ant on the ground that I saw with a magnifying glass. And I chose to make it into a big monster," he said.
He has made that big monster morph into his ticket to stardom as he will be the main character in "Special."
Through this show, O'Connell hopes to give the unheard a voice.
"I am the descendant of African slaves. I am the descendant of Indigenous people. I am the descendant of Spanish colonizers," explained Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in an MSNBC interview.
Conversations around race and ethnicity have been prominent in the media because of the onslaught of diverse newly elected public officials. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is one of them. In an interview on MSNBC, she addressed her heritage with respect to her race.
Family and friends said the apology was insulting, and that Timothy Caughman's death was their "life sentence."
James Jackson, 30, a white supremacist, killed Timothy Caughman, 66, a Black man with a sword. Jackson was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
His apology: "I just wanted to apologize to everyone who has been negatively affected by this horrible and unnecessary tragedy. If I could do it all over again, this never would have happened."
Caughman's friends dismissed the apology, as fake.
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Black students are more likely to borrow, less able to make progress on paying down their loans, and almost half defaulted on their school loans. Many do not graduate. Now 34 seniors can.
Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va., decided to clear the debt of 34 Howard students.
95 percent of Howard students are on financial aid. About 4,000 church members fasted and prayed for 30 days, saving money to donate to something charitable.
They donated $100,000 to 34 students.