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University of Tulsa recognizes upcoming 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre anniversary

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Vanessa Adams-Harris speaks at University of Tulsa on May 20, 2022

The University of Tulsa marks the upcoming anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Director of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation Vanessa Adams-Harris spoke on the ongoing impact of the massacre and how violence is built on dehumanization.

“We see with the death of Terence Crutcher, that’s a direct tie back to 1921 and it goes back even further. If you don’t see me as a viable human being then it doesn’t really matter what happens to me,” said Adams-Harris.

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre began on May 31 and ended with 35 city blocks in ruin. As many as 300 Black Tulsans died.

No descendants or survivors have ever received compensation from the government for its role in the killings. A lawsuit against the city of Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma seeking those reparations is set to go forward.

Before joining Public Radio Tulsa, Elizabeth Caldwell was a freelance reporter and a teacher. She holds a master's from Hollins University. Her audio work has appeared at KCRW, CBC's The World This Weekend, and The Missouri Review. She is a south Florida native.