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Descendants & Survivors of Tulsa Massacre Appeal To Oklahoma Supreme Court

In July, Oklahoma Judge Caroline Wall sided with the City of Tulsa, Tulsa County, Tulsa Development Authority, and Oklahoma Military when she dismissed a suit filed by a group representing descendants and survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre.

The suit was filed in 2020 and sought reparations, including punitive damages, compensation funds, scholarship programs, mental health programs, and education programs. That same group recently filed an appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in calling for reparations for the century-old attack on the city’s once prosperous Black neighborhood nicknamed “Black Wall Street.”

The remaining survivors include Lessie E. Benningfield Randle, Hughes Van Ellis, and Viola Fletcher, who are all over 100 years old. The women filed a lawsuit calling the massacre “the worst acts of domestic terrorism in United States history since slavery.”

White rioters looted and burned thirty-five blocks of Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood, destroying more than 1,200 homes and businesses. Three hundred people were killed alongside 800 injured, leaving 9,000 Black residents without homes. Total damage to the area due to the massacre is estimated between $50 million and $100 million.

Last month, pro-Trump Republican and Oklahoma Secretary of Education Ryan Walters said in a public forum that he believes that teachers should not say that skin color determined the atrocities in Tulsa.

The victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre and their families have not been forgotten, and we hope that through continued efforts, their stories and the impact of this tragic event will receive the recognition and justice they deserve. The dismissal of the lawsuit by Judge Caroline Wall raises important questions about the balance between historical reparations and legal constraints, and it has ignited a renewed call for revisiting the past to rectify its lingering consequences.

Link: NBCNews


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