Will There Be Justice for Greenwood?: OK Court Hears 1921 Tulsa Case


FILE - In this 1921 image provided by the Library of Congress, smoke billows over Tulsa, Okla. The state of Oklahoma says it is unwilling to participate in settlement discussions with survivors who are seeking reparations for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and that a Tulsa County judge properly dismissed the case in July 2023. The Oklahoma attorney general's litigation division filed its response Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. (Alvin C. Krupnick Co./Library of Congress via AP, File)
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The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday in a historic case concerning the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, focusing on the demands for reparations by survivors Lessie Benningfield Randle and Viola Fletcher, both 109 years old.

The two resilient women have brought forth a public nuisance lawsuit in pursuit of justice for one of the darkest chapters in American history, which saw the decimation of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, then a flourishing African American business hub known as Black Wall Street.

Another case hit a roadblock last July when a Tulsa district judge dismissed the lawsuit, prompting an immediate appeal. Complicating it, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ryan Walters, stated last year that race was not a pivotal factor in the massacre.

That comment was challenged by the survivor’s attorney, Damario Solomon-Simmons, who says the massacre was intrinsically tied to race and hatred, and that it’s crucial to this case. Simmons also says the case has never gotten this far, and this could be the only opportunity for justice to prevail.

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

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