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Tulsa Race Massacre survivor Viola Fletcher, 107, calls on US to acknowledge 1921 atrocity – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-05-28 10:36:09 –

Washington–Viola Fletcher was seven years old when he witnessed one of the worst ethnic violence the United States had ever seen.

In 1921, an angry white mob rampaged in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, killing hundreds of blacks and leaving a prosperous neighborhood in the ashes.

The 107-year-old testified in front of members of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, calling for justice and for the country to officially approve the slaughter before the 100th anniversary of May 31st.

“I can still see a black man shot and a black corpse lying down the street. I can still smell the smoke and see the fire,” Fletcher testified. “I still see black businesses being burned. I can still hear planes flying overhead. I hear screams. I have lived a slaughter every day.”

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, also known as the Tulsa Race Massacre, was then the economic center of blacks when the white mob riots plundered and burned down the community, then known as Black Wall Street. It brought about the destruction of the city’s Greenwood district.

According to the Tulsa Historical Society and the museum, modern death reports began at the age of 36, but historians now believe that 300 people have died. Historical photographs show the bodies of black residents lying on the street.

“I’m 107 years old, but I’ve never seen justice. I hope that justice will come true someday. I’ve had a long life and I’ve seen both the best and the worst in this country. Blacks Think about the horror given to you, every day in this country, “Fletcher said.

Fletcher was one of the survivors of the three genocide who spoke to lawmakers on Wednesday. Younger brothers Hughes van Ellis and Lessy Benningfield Randall also appeared before the subcommittee. They pointed out that the community could not be rebuilt and said survivors could still see the effects of the slaughter.

“We had nothing left. We became refugees in our country,” said Van Ellis, 100.

Randall, who virtually testified, remembered that he was safe and happy as a six-year-old child who lived in Tulsa before “everything changed.”

A 106-year-old woman said, “I burned my house and shop. I just robbed the building of what I wanted and burned it. I killed a person. I was told that I just threw the corpse into the river.”

“I remember running outside the house. I remember running by the corpse. It wasn’t a beautiful sight. It’s still in my mind 100 years later. “She added.

The three survivors are the protagonists of a lawsuit filed last year seeking damages, which has been ongoing since the city’s Greenwood district was destroyed nearly 100 years ago.

Plaintiffs include the Vernon AME Church, the only black-owned building that survived the slaughter, and descendants of the Tulsa African Ancestors Association.

The proceedings allege that the racial and economic disparities caused by the slaughter caused public inconvenience and financial hardship, which said local governments and agencies were unable to help rebuild the neighborhood. I will.

“They owe us something. They owe me something. I’ve spent most of my life poor. My opportunity has been robbed of me and my community. North Tulsa, Black Tulsa is still messed up today. They didn’t rebuild. It’s empty. It’s a ghetto, “Randall said.

According to the lawsuit, Greenwood residents suffered property damages of $ 50 to $ 100 million from the genocide, and policies implemented in the decades that followed led to the decline and widening of inequality in Greenwood and North Tulsa. Say they are connected.

“We are not looking for handouts. We are looking for first-class citizens who are beneficiaries of the promise that this country is’a country of freedom and justice for all.’ It’s about seeking an opportunity to be treated like this, “said Van Ellis. “We seek justice for lifelong damage. The damage caused by the genocide.”

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Tulsa Race Massacre survivor Viola Fletcher, 107, calls on US to acknowledge 1921 atrocity Source link Tulsa Race Massacre survivor Viola Fletcher, 107, calls on US to acknowledge 1921 atrocity

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