A series of community-led events will honor massacre victims, amplify the experiences of remaining survivors, and chart the future of Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood, dubbed Black Wall Street.
TULSA, Okla. — Survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and descendants of victims will host the Black Wall Street Legacy Festival from May 28-30 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to commemorate the Centennial of one of the worst occurrences of violence against Black people in US history. The series of community-led events will take place in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood and center the hundreds who lost their lives during the atrocity, as well as the survivors and descendants who continue fighting for justice a century later.
The Festival is headlined by the last known massacre survivors — 106-year-old Lessie Benningfield “Mother” Randle, 106-year-old Viola “Mother” Fletcher, and 100-year-old Hughes Van Ellis — who will lead a procession and participate in an event honoring their legacy.
“Each day that we have with the massacre survivors is a gift. It’s important to remember that folks have clawed through pain, trauma, and erasure to arrive at this Centennial,” said Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, one of the descendants of the massacre and lead organizers of the Festival. She also serves as founder and executive director of the Tulsa-based Terence Crutcher Foundation. “The Black Wall Street Legacy Festival is the Greenwood community’s tribute to the massacre victims who are no longer with us. It’s a love letter to those who have held on for dear life, and a chance to inspire the next generation to take the baton.”
Panels throughout the weekend will explore urgent issues, ranging from the needs of the community that still lives with the consequences of the massacre every day, to the erasure of essential history, to the state and future of Black Wall Street.
The event will also feature a series of musical performances from national headliners and top local acts curated by Tulsa artist and community leader Steph Simon, founder of World Culture Music Festival. “WCMF is the largest hip-hop festival in Oklahoma, and we are honored to partner with Black Wall Street Legacy Festival on this historic commemoration,” Simon said.
National performers will include renowned gospel singer John P. Kee. Kee is the recipient of 21 Stellar Awards, 27 GMWA Excellence Awards, a Trailblazer Award from President Bill Clinton, one Soul Train Music Award, two Billboard Music Awards, a Gospel Music Hall of Fame Award, seven GRAMMY® Award nominations and numerous other honors.
Local/National talent will be headlined by Fire in Little Africa fresh off of their signing with Motown Records /Black Forum. The hip-hop collective — which will perform original music from their self-titled album, “Fire in Little Africa,” set to be released May 28 — was created in 2020 to commemorate the legacy and destruction of Black Wall Street.
The festival will close 100 years to the day when mobs of white people stormed Tulsa’s affluent Greenwood district, burning down the enclave known as Black Wall Street and leaving hundreds of Black people dead. No one was ever charged with a crime for the violence or compensated for the loss of life and economic devastation.
Additional details about the festival will soon be available at BlackWallStreetLegacyFest.com.
ABOUT BLACK WALL STREET LEGACY FESTIVAL
About the Black Wall Street Legacy Festival Hosted by survivors and descendants of the Tulsa Race Massacre and helmed by organizations based in the affected community, the Black Wall Street Legacy Festival seeks to elevate and amplify the hard work and voices of Black Tulsans over the last 100 years by offering opportunities to reflect, learn, and inspire through community-curated experiences. National partners include Human Rights Watch, the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), FWD.us, The Who We Are Project, and more. Please visit blackwallstreetlegacyfest.com for additional information.
- Terence Crutcher Foundation
- Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition
- The Black Wall Street Times
- African Ancestral Society
- Justice for Greenwood Foundation
- Greenwood Cultural Center
- MetCares Foundation
- Black Wall Street Chamber
- Demanding a JusTulsa
- Historic Greenwood Mainstreet
- Martin Luther King Society
- World Culture Music Fest
- Fire In Little Africa (FILA)
- Black Tech Street
- Urban Coders Guild
- 5 Fist
- BTW Hornets United
- Gathering Place (GP)
- EduRec Tulsa
- Women of Power
- Northside United Coalition of Clergy
- All Souls Church
- Center for Public Secrets
- Tulsa Juneteenth Festival
- Survivor Stock