Oklahoma Supreme Court Dismisses Tulsa Race Massacre Reparations Case


In this 1921 image provided by the Library of Congress, smoke billows over Tulsa, Okla. The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, dismissed a lawsuit of the last two survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, dampening the hope of advocates for racial justice that the government would make amends for one of the worst single acts of violence against Black people in U.S. history. (Alvin C. Krupnick Co./Library of Congress via AP, File)
Reading Time: < 1 minute

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the last living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, dampening hopes for reparations. The suit, brought by centenarians Viola ‘Mother’ Fletcher and Lessie Benningfield ‘Mother’ Randle, aimed to hold the city accountable for the devastating attacks on the Greenwood District.

FIn this May 28, 2021 file photo, Tulsa Race Massacre survivors, from left, Hughes Van Ellis Sr., Lessie Benningfield Randle, and Viola Fletcher, wave and high-five supporters from a horse-drawn carriage before a march in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)

The court upheld a lower court’s decision, stating that the plaintiff’s claim did not meet the criteria under the state’s public nuisance law. The survivor’s legal team announced plans to petition for a rehearing, arguing that the destruction of 40 square blocks clearly constitutes a public nuisance.

They urged the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate under the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act. A statement from their legal team emphasized, “In 103 years since the Massacre, no court has held a trial addressing the Massacre and no individual or entity has been held accountable for it.”

Click play to listen to the report from AURN White House Correspondent Ebony McMorris. For more news, follow @E_N_McMorris & @aurnonline.

advanced divider
advanced divider