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Viola Ford Fletcher, one of the three last known living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, is finally getting the trip of a lifetime. Both “Mother” Fletcher, as she is known, along with fellow survivor Hughes Van Ellis, known as “Uncle Red”, are leaving for Ghana, Africa, this week. 

The journey is considered a homecoming for the pair, both of whom are over 100 years old. Mother Fletcher, now 107, has memories of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that left Greenwood and Black Wall St decimated, with hundreds of Black men, women, and children killed, while Uncle Red, aged 100, escaped with his family as a baby. 

Trip made possible by generous supporters

According to Representative Regina Goodwin, “Folks always want to get home and she’s thought about it since she was a little girl. She’s super excited, they’re both excited and they could not be going with more wonderful people.”

The trip was created by Michael and Eric Thompson, founders of “Our Black Truth Social Media,” who met the pair during the Centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, in May and June of this year. Upon meeting the Thompsons, Mother Fletcher mentioned her lifelong dream to visit Africa, and the two worked to bring her dream to fruition. 

ghana tulsa race massacre horse drawn carriage
The last three living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre lead the Black Wall Street Memorial March (Mike Creef / The Black Wall Street Times)

The trip is also being sponsored by the Diaspora African Forum, whose vision is “to be the bridge that unites the African Diaspora and Africa.” The African Diaspora Forum notes that Ghana is a “true success story of Africa,” confirming the stable democracy and economic development of the country. 

Mother Fletcher and Uncle Red’s trip to Africa is referred to as “Coming Home: A Journey of a Lifetime.” While in Ghana, both will be honored. Mother Fletcher will be named “Queen Mother” in a traditional Ghanaian ceremony, while Uncle Red will be given the title of Chief. 

Mother Fletcher and Uncle Red will depart for Ghana on Friday and return a week later. 

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...