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Tulsa City Council May Formally Apologize, Explore Potential Reparations For Race Massacre

Chris Polansky
From file.

The Tulsa City Council announced Friday it would consider a resolution at its upcoming Wednesday meeting that would formally apologize for the past and ongoing harms caused by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and launch a process to evaluate recommendations included in a 2001 state report that included an endorsement of reparation payments. 

The resolution, introduced by Councilors Kara Joy McKee, Lori Decter Wright, Mykey Arthrell-Knezek and Council Chair Vanessa Hall-Harper, would "apologize not only for those who perpetrated the Massacre but any enforcement of subsequent segregation, discriminatory practices and programs that led to inequities and commit to making tangible amends for policies and practices that have harmed or destroyed communities in North Tulsa."

"[The Council will] establish within the next six months a community-led process to evaluate the recommendations for reconciliation made in the Commission report, and other reports and efforts, and create short- and long-term recommendations to make significant progress toward restoring economic mobility, prosperity, and generational wealth for the 1921 Race Massacre survivors, their descendants, and residents of North Tulsa," the proposed resolution reads.

It also urges "any and all entities in Tulsa to identify the ways they have advanced and benefitted from racial inequity and to join in their apologies and invites these entities to join in finding solutions, ensuring equity, and identifying policies and practices that cause inequities and seek solutions to comprehensively address these systems."

The city of Tulsa has never paid reparations to victims, survivors or descendants of the 1921 attack, during which throngs of white Tulsans burned the thriving Greenwood District to the ground and killed as many as 300 Black Tulsans.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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