1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Survivors to Testify in Congress Wednesday

Centennial of the Tulsa-Greenwood Race Massacre, on May 19, 2021, ahead of the Tulsa Race Massacre’s centennial.
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(Washington, DC) – The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties will hold a hearing, Continuing Injustice: The Centennial of the Tulsa-Greenwood Race Massacre, on May 19, 2021, ahead of the Tulsa Race Massacre’s centennial.

The 9:30 a.m. ET hearing will examine the legacy of the massacre, remedies for the continuing harm, and the connection to the current crisis of police violence and systemic racism experienced by Black communities across the country.

The virtual hearing will stream live here.

The last known living survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre106-year-old Lessie Benningfield “Mother” Randle, 107-year-old Viola “Mother” Fletcher, and 100-year-old Hughes Van Ellis – will testify at the hearing.

Also slated to testify is Tulsa native Dreisen Heath, a racial justice researcher and advocate in the US program at Human Rights Watch. In May 2020, Human Rights Watch published Heath’s groundbreaking report that documented the impact of the Tulsa Race Massacre and the systemic racism that followed, and called for reparations.

Other witnesses will include:

The hearing is taking place two weeks before the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, when mobs of white residents stormed Tulsa’s affluent Greenwood district, burning to the ground a neighborhood known as “Black Wall Street.” Some 10,000 Black residents were driven from their homes and as many as 300 were killed.

Although it has been called one of the worst incidents of racial violence in US history, no one was ever charged with a crime for the violence or compensated for the loss of life and economic devastation.

Human Rights Watch released a video for the Tulsa Race Massacre centennial. It’s available for download here.

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