reparations

Facebook / Justice For Greenwood Foundation

The legal team representing the three known living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in a lawsuit for reparations for the attack and its ongoing harm said they may bring additional litigation regarding the city of Tulsa's oversight of the search for massacre victims' remains.

Town of Tullahassee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Eleven U.S. mayors — from Los Angeles to tiny Tullahassee, Oklahoma — have pledged to pay reparations for slavery to a small group of Black residents in their cities, saying their aim is to set an example for the federal government on how a nationwide program could work.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

With the national spotlight off Tulsa following substantial media coverage of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre centennial anniversary and President Joe Biden's visit to Greenwood to commemorate it, advocates for reparations for survivors and descendants say they aren't going anywhere.

Councilor Joe Deere

The Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor representing the district that includes much of the historic Greenwood neighborhood destroyed in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre says he believes reparations are due to the attack's survivors and descendants.

Councilor Joe Deere welcomed attendees of the Black Wall Street Legacy Festival's main event on Sunday at the Oklahoma State University - Tulsa campus to the Cherokee Nation reservation.

City of Tulsa

On the 100th anniversary of the second day of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, with the president of the United States in town to commemorate the racist attack and meet with living survivors, the city of Tulsa on Tuesday began the process of exhuming remains discovered in a mass grave in the search for massacre victims.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

Several hundred armed Black men and women from across the country converged on Tulsa Saturday for a march as part of the National Black Power Convention, scheduled to nearly coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Demonstrators chanted in favor of reparations, at one point extending a long banner reading 'REPARATIONS NOW!' as they marched. There was also a focus on encouraging Black Americans to take up arms to defend themselves against everyday acts of racist violence as well as largescale atrocities like the massacre.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's Office

The sponsor of a bill to create a federal commission studying reparations said she stands with those pursuing reparations for people affected by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas said H.R.40 will also help the cause in Tulsa because the commission it establishes will look not only at slavery, but also state and local practices used to brutalize and disadvantage Black Americans.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

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. 

John Hope Franklin National Symposium

One of the preeminent scholars of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre said Thursday that reparations for survivors and descendants are undeniably necessary.

"The fact of the matter is, without a doubt, the three remaining survivors of the massacre and the descendants of any and all survivors of the massacre deserve some form of financial restitution for what happened to them and their family in 1921," historian Scott Ellsworth said near the end of an address given as part of the John Hope Franklin National Symposium.

With the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre days away, the Tulsa County Democratic Party issued a statement Friday acknowledging the organization’s racist past.

That includes previous Democratic National Committee members’ and national and state elected officials’ involvement with the Ku Klux Klan and participation in the massacre.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

With mounting global attention on Tulsa and the myriad events planned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, reparations advocates have launched a phone hotline for descendants of massacre survivors and victims to call and tell their stories.

"I know there's thousands and thousands of more descendants across the world and across the nation," said DJ Mercer, descendant coordinator at the Justice For Greenwood Foundation, which opened the hotline last week.

We're pleased to speak once again with the University of Michigan-based historian and bestselling author, Scott Ellsworth, whose books include "The Secret Game," "The World Beneath Their Feet," and "Death in a Promised Land," the last-named being his account of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, a pioneering text which first appeared in the 1980s. Originally from Tulsa, Ellsworth has just published an all-important follow-up to "Death in a Promised Land," which he tells us about.

U.S. House of Representatives

The three known living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre testified before a Congressional subcommittee Wednesday, less than two weeks before the 100th anniversary of the racist attack. 

Viola Fletcher, 107, and her brother, Hughes Van Ellis, 100, appeared before the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in person at the U.S. Capitol. Lessie Benningfield "Mother" Randle, 106, appeared via videoconference.

Illustration by Marlin Lavanhar (via The Black Wall Street Times)

On this edition of ST, we're pleased to speak with Marlin Lavanhar, a Unitarian Universalist minister who's been based at All Souls Church here in Tulsa since 2000. A longtime social justice activist and tireless human rights advocate, Lavanhar recently launched a series of editorial cartoons focused on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre -- and on the urgent need for reparations to be conveyed to those directly affected by this vast, tragic, century-old crime.

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission has told Gov. Kevin Stitt it will consider him to have resigned as a member if he doesn’t respond to their invitation to discuss his signing of a bill Republicans have pushed as a ban on teaching critical race theory.