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Photo by Nehemiah D. Frank

Local Community Partners with the Equal Justice Initiative to Announce Project Memorializing Tulsa’s History of Racial Terror and Lynching

TULSA, Okla. — In its short history, Oklahoma has borne witness to some of the most horrific acts of racial terror in the United States, including the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre when white mobsters and klansmen destroyed the thriving Greenwood neighborhood and lynched hundreds of Black citizens. Our disturbing past cannot be hidden; it must be faced head-on.

The Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition (which is working in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, AL) will hold a public press conference on 11:00AM on Friday, May 17th at Historic Vernon AME Church (311 N. Greenwood Ave.)

There, coalition members Rev. Dr. Robert Turner and Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, along with elected officials Councilwoman Vanessa Hall-Harper and Representative Regina Goodwin, will present details of the remembrance project to the Tulsa community.

This project will include the placement of a historical marker on the property of Vernon AME Church in Greenwood, honoring the power and spirit of Black Wall Street and memorializing the catastrophe that destroyed it. This marker will be unveiled at a ceremony with EJI on September 14, 2019.

Photo by Nehemiah D. Frank

In conjunction with the dedication of the marker during the September ceremony, the Remembrance Coalition and EJI are currently hosting an essay contest for all Tulsa County high school students (details can be found at here ). The winner of the essay contest will be invited to share their essay at the ceremony alongside community leaders and EJI officials. The coalition will also be taking part in a soil collection project over the summer to memorialize sacred grounds where racial terrorism and lynchings occurred.

Additionally, coalition members will unveil a display of a forthcoming memorial to be built on the grounds of Vernon AME church, telling the full story of Black Wall Street and it’s destruction in the 1921 massacre/terror attack.

The coalition believes deeply in sharing the stories of our painful past that so often go untold because it is only by facing our truth that we are able to make progress toward justice and true reconciliation. We are inspired by the opportunity we have to engage our bold and brilliant community in commemorating and shaping our future, together.

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...