Written by Nina Golgowski
Published on 20th May 2021
In May 1921, a white mob attacked Greenwood, home to an African American community, destroyed businesses and killed 300 Black residents and left 10,000 residents homeless. Survivors of the Greenwood Massacre have filed a lawsuit against local officials accusing them of allowing and participating in the attack.
At a court hearing, three survivors of the attack, Lessie Benningfield Randle, who is 106 years, Viola Fletcher, who is 107 years old, and her brother Hughes Van Ellis, a 100-year-old war veteran, shared their account of the Tulsa-Greenwood massacre to the House Judiciary’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee. They are part of the reparations lawsuit filed against the city of Tulsa and the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce for the atrocities committed.
“It seems like justice in America is all really so slow or not possible for Black people and we are made to feel crazy just for asking for things to be made right – There are always so many excuses for why justice is so slow or never happens at all. I am here today, 106 years old, looking at you all in the eye. We have waited 100 years … I am tired. We are tired.” – Lessie Benningfield Randle