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Oklahoma Supreme Court To Hear Final Case For Tulsa Massacre Survivors' Right To Trial for Reparations

Viola Ford Fletcher, a 109-year-old survivor of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, vividly recalls the terror of witnessing destruction and death in her community. She and Lessie Benningfield Randle, another centenarian survivor, alongside the estate of Fletcher's late brother Hughes Van Ellis, have been embroiled in a protracted legal battle for reparations. Fletcher laments the loss of educational and economic opportunities due to the massacre, emphasizing the lasting impact on her life.

The Tulsa Race Massacre began on May 30, 1921, escalating from a confrontation at a jail where a young Black man, Dick Rowland, was detained, leading to an armed clash and the eventual destruction of the Greenwood district by a white mob. This led to significant loss of life, property damage, and enduring trauma among survivors.

Despite the passage of time, the survivors' quest for justice continues. Their lawsuit argues for reparations based on the city's complicity and the ongoing effects of the massacre, seeking to address a "public nuisance" and "unjust enrichment" derived from the exploitation of the massacre. However, legal hurdles persist, with recent motions to dismiss their case being contested.

Fletcher's resilience and commitment to justice highlight the enduring impact of the massacre on its survivors and their descendants. The case, now pending before the Oklahoma Supreme Court, represents a crucial opportunity for acknowledgment and redress of the historical injustices suffered by the Greenwood community.

"Being there for so many hours, it was really unpleasant but I'm willing to do that again you know," Fletcher added.

Link: CNN


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