NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Near the fountain in Washington Square Park people gathered Monday night to remember a day in American history.
It’s a story not often told and one our country should never forget, CBS2’s Cory James reported.READ MORE: Federal Arrest Warrant Issued For Gabby Petito's Missing Fiancé Brian Laundrie
Exactly 100 years ago, a white mob killed about 300 Black people in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They burned more than 30 square blocks of homes and businesses in an area known as “Black Wall Street.”
“It started because a Black man was accused of sexually assaulting a white woman. We don’t know how true that is, but, still, why would you come and burn down a whole city for that?” Greenwich Village resident Tyleek Bredy said.
While people in the Village honored those lives lost on Monday, the owner and curator of a SoHo art gallery was facing his own modern-day attack.
“When I see this type of vandalism it is just a reminder that hate still exists,” Dr. Rico Wright said.
Wright showed up to work Monday to find white paint covering “Black Wall Street Gallery,” the name of his exhibition.
The showcase pays tribute to the 1921 Tulsa race massacre. Inside, there are 21 paintings from 21 Black artists.READ MORE: 'I Can't Take This Anymore': Heavy Rain In Tri-State Area Renews Flooding Concerns For Many Still Dealing With Damage From Ida
“It’s a salute to the ancestors. We’re focused on healing, unity and love,” Wright said.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident that happened overnight on Mercer Street.
“I think it’s absolutely disgusting. That’s such a terrible thing to see,” said Christopher Falzarano of Chester, New Jersey.
“Whoever the perpetrator is, I say to that person come and holler at me. Let’s have a conversation. Let’s have some dialogue. Let me understand why you would do something like this so then I can explain why you should never do it,” Wright said.
The vandalism was done with smeared paint that can be erased, but what can’t be is the history of this day a century ago.
And a group marching throughout New York City was reminding people of that.MORE NEWS: 1 Killed, 13 Injured In Shooting At Kroger In Collierville, Tennessee
As of late Monday night, no arrests were made in the case. The owner of the gallery said his exhibition will be open through Juneteenth, which is June 19.