Tulsa Race Massacre

Youtube / City of Norman

Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in Oklahoma were noticeably impacted by two unique circumstances Monday.

"Every year, usually ... they have the marching groups. Next year, we'll be back with the walking groups, with the dancing groups," said Tulsa's MLK Day Parade emcee Rebecca Marks-Jimerson, doing color commentary for a livestream of the event. "But this year, because of the COVID, we are doing the social distancing. But we're making it happen for you."

Sen. James Lankford

Calls are mounting for Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) to resign his seat on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission after his role in sowing doubt about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and the insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol.

John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma began a centennial remembrance Friday of a once-thriving African American neighborhood in Tulsa decimated by deadly white violence that has received growing recognition during America’s reckoning over police brutality and racial violence.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

While the city of Tulsa's search for the remains of victims from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre has been celebrated by many, some members of the investigation's public oversight committee are questioning the pace and focus of the endeavor.

At a Dec. 17 meeting held virtually, members of the efforts' physical investigation committee gave a presentation on their findings so far, including the discovery of a mass grave at a site in Oaklawn Cemetery where victims are said to have been buried following the racist attack. 

Courtesy City of Tulsa

Researchers searching Oaklawn Cemetery for remains of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre are pursuing legal approval to exhume and study bodies discovered in their October dig, which revealed a mass grave.

Courtesy

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission has received a $1 million grant toward the Greenwood Rising commemorative center from Bank of America.

A portion of the grant is for construction costs, while the rest will go to related initiatives.

"We're going to help with educational programming, entrepreneurial programming, supplier diversity initiatives, I mean, anything and everything we can do to ultimately help bring this community back to where it originally was," said Bank of America Tulsa Market President Bill Lissau.

City of Tulsa

Researchers looking for victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in Oaklawn Cemetery have concluded their work for now.

State Archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck said Thursday on the final day of digging, they found evidence of another burial, so there are at least 12 the team now knows of.

They also figured out the north, south and west boundaries of the larger grave shaft they’re working in. Stackelbeck said the trench they dug appears to cover about one-third of it.

City of Tulsa

Researchers at Oaklawn Cemetery made a big discovery Wednesday, the third day of their second round of searching for victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

"What we were finding was an indication that we were inside a large area, a big excavation area, a large hole that had been excavated and into which several individuals have been placed inside of coffins and buried in that location. This constitutes a mass grave," said State Archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — One set of human remains, and perhaps a second, have been found in a Tulsa cemetery where investigators are searching for victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Oklahoma state archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck said Tuesday.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Excavation work began Monday at two locations in a Tulsa cemetery for victims of a race massacre nearly 100 years ago that left hundreds dead and decimated an area that was once a cultural and economic mecca for African Americans.

Researchers took a core soil sample at one location to give them a better idea of what lies beneath the soil, said Oklahoma State Archeologist Kary Stackelbeck.

City of Tulsa

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A second excavation begins Monday at a cemetery in an effort to find and identify victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and shed light on violence that left hundreds dead and decimated an area that was once a cultural and economic mecca for African Americans.

City of Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A second search for the remains of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre will begin on Oct. 19, the city said Tuesday.

Excavation will take place in two sections of Oaklawn Cemetery, where two other areas were searched during the summer, with no victim remains found.

The next areas to be searched are one where a boy said he saw Black people being buried shortly after the massacre and another where old funeral home records indicate that 18 Black people were buried.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Several predominately white Tulsa churches have painted "Black Lives Matter" messages on their properties.

At least four churches painted their messages Wednesday, four years to the day after a white Tulsa police officer shot and killed Terence Crutcher, an unarmed Black man. More are expected to paint "Black Lives Matter" on their properties in the coming days.

Courtesy City of Tulsa

After an initial excavation in July yielded no human remains, researchers searching for mass graves of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre victims have announced they plan to begin digging elsewhere in Oaklawn Cemetery as soon as next month.

"The date for this work has yet to be scheduled, but the City of Tulsa will announce the date when confirmed," according to a statement from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation Public Oversight Committee.

We're pleased to welcome the Tulsa-based attorney, historian, and author Hannibal B. Johnson back to StudioTulsa. An active and well-respected expert on matters of diversity, inclusion, and social justice, Johnson is also the education chair for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Commission. He joins us to discuss his newest book, "Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples With Its Historical Racial Trauma." As was noted of this volume by Dr.

University of Tulsa

A lawsuit in state court demands the City of Tulsa, Tulsa County and five other defendants address an ongoing public nuisance caused by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Red at the Bone

Aug 27, 2020

Jacqueline Woodson dedicates her 2019 novel Red at the Bone to “the ancestors, a long line of you bending and twisting.” I’ve been thinking a lot more about my ancestors lately, leaning into the strength of those who came before me who endured wars, economic disasters, or other, even deadlier, global pandemics. I’ve also been watching my parents move into advanced age with all its associate heartache and indignities.

City of Tulsa

Archaeologists searching Oaklawn Cemetery for a potential mass grave where victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre could be buried have found a pair of shoes.

State Archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck said that’s important because they are well preserved, researchers can figure out an approximate age for them and they provide important context in the search.

Brian Nutt / City of Tulsa

Archaeologists have not yet found human remains as they search Oaklawn Cemetery for victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

They began excavating on Monday a section in the southwest corner where geophysical surveys indicated anomalies consistent with mass graves.

"I know that it seems like we’re coming up dry every day, but the thing is, we’re finding information and clues that basically tell us stories of years and years gone by," said Brenda Alford, who chairs the citizen committee overseeing the search and is the granddaughter of race massacre survivors.

City of Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Crews searching for the remains of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre have yet to uncover any human remains and on Wednesday expanded the scope of the excavation at a city cemetery, the Oklahoma state archaeologist said.

The search at Oaklawn Cemetery thus far has revealed common household trash, animal bones and a shell casing that is not believed to be connected to the massacre, State Archaeologist of Oklahoma Kary Stackelbeck said.

Facebook / City of Tulsa Gov

A team of archaelogists has resumed excavation work at Oaklawn Cemetery in a search for potential mass graves from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

"Why did it take 99 years?" Mayor G.T. Bynum said, repeating a reporter's question at a press conference Monday. "I think, first, there was a concerted cover-up of this that involved city leaders and business leaders in this community."

Bynum said he couldn't speak for those in power before him.

Oklahoma Archaeological Survey

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Tulsa will resume test excavations of potential unmarked graves from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre after the effort was halted in March because of the coronavirus outbreak, city officials announced.

A local charitable trust is being transformed to honor the memory of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by helping Tulsans of color.

The Zarrow Families Foundation will likely offer at least $6 million over five to seven years through the newly established Commemoration Fund.

Retired Ronald McDonald House President and CEO Glenda Love-Williams is a member of its inaugural advisory board, which exclusively represents the people they’ll help.

File Photo

A report by international advocacy group Human Rights Watch says state and local officials should make reparations for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

The group said they should base a reparations plan on measures recommended in the 2001 "Tulsa Race Riot Commission" report, including direct payments. Tulsa attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons said during a discussion of the report determining what is owed will be difficult.

University of Tulsa

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission hosted a virtual commemoration Sunday of the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

On June 1, 1921, a white mob continued looting and burning Black Wall Street. The attack destroyed 35 city blocks, and the death toll is still unknown.

They were joined by Damon Lindelof, creator of the HBO series "Watchmen," which opens with the race massacre. As the character Will Reeves says, Lindelof said wounds need air.

Tulsa's John Hope Franklin Center will soon present the 11th Annual Reconciliation in America National Symposium, from May 27th through June 2nd. Given the pandemic, the symposium this year will happen online, and it will carry the theme of "Reconciliation and Technology: Neutral Resources for Social Good." This theme, per the John Hope Franklin Center website, "unites us as change agents, researchers of effective practices, and peacemakers in the intentional journey of reconciliation.

Instagram / @TulsaTriumphs2021

A free webinar series beginning Wednesday aims to help Oklahoma teachers craft curricula and lesson plans for effectively teaching the history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Dr. Karlos Hill, chair of the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the head of the Tulsa Race Massacre Institute, said that while the pandemic dashed plans for a third-annual, in-person program in Tulsa's Greenwood District, the limitation of moving programming online may also be an opportunity.

Courtesy

A history center being built by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission has a new home.

After talks to build the Greenwood Rising History Center on the grounds of the Greenwood Cultural Center fell through earlier this month, the Centennial Commission announced Tuesday it will now go up on the southeast corner of Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street, the gateway to the Greenwood District.

 

This episode of FBO -- our second -- aired on March 19 and 20, 2020.

City of Tulsa

A test excavation in Tulsa's search for mass graves from the 1921 race massacre has been postponed because of the COVID-19 threat.

OU archaeologists were set to explore a section of Oaklawn Cemetery starting April first, but that has been postponed indefinitely.

City officials say the work will happen once the pandemic threat has passed, as will additional above-ground scanning at Rolling Oaks Memorial Gardens. The city said the owner has signed an agreement with OU for the investigation after a months-long holdout.

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