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tv   Tulsa Race Massacre National Symposium - Scott Ellsworth Author ...  CSPAN  July 2, 2021 1:32pm-2:16pm EDT

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>> tonight on american history tv vanessa smiley a national park service project manager discusses misconceptions surrounding the american revolution southern campaigns. the emerging revolutionary war blog and the office of alexandria co-hosted the talk. that starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv. >> on may 31st, 1921 tensions over the arrest of a young black man for his apparent interactions with a white woman led to an armed mob of white men marching on the predominantly african-american greenwood district in tulsa, oklahoma. over the next day the neighborhood known as black wall street was burned to the ground and hundreds of african
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americans were killed. scott ellsworth author of ground breaking an american city and its search for justice discusses the massacre and the efforts of people seeking justice for the victims and their families. this talk is part of a national symposium held by the john hope franklin center for reconciliation, they also provided the video. >> it's really great to be with you all here today, it's wonderful to be back home in tulsa, i love coming back home. you know, and i think everyone here probably has some sense of the scope of the tulsa race massacre, but i know this is being filmed, there may be others who watch it who are less familiar. just to remind everyone of just what a gigantic event this was, and the numbers only sort of do it justice. you have move than 1,000 african-american homes and businesses were looted and burned to the ground.
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10,000 people were made homeless. to this day we do not know how many people died in the massacre. but it's not just a question of numbers as well, too. you know, it's not just this many businesses tied, you know, what was destroyed were two movie theaters, the dixie and the dream land, they sat 1,000 people and 750 african-american newspapers, a dozen churches were burned to the ground. 30 restaurants, 30 grocery stores and meat markets, a hospital. a public school, a library branch, a post office, substation was burned as well, too. dress shops, cigar stores, hardware stores, automobiles, on and on and on and it -- the amount of wealth that was lost is -- let me give you one other number to think about when we deal with this wealth. some of you all may have seen this but this week the june
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issue of national geographic is arriving in people's mailboxes and the massacre is the cover store. the staff at national geographic did work and tried to figure out what was the amount of generational wealth that was lost during the massacre. how much money would be in greenwood today had the massacre not happened. and i'm not an economist more a business historian but it seemed like a fairly simple methodology that they used, they figured out how much property was in greenwood that was black owned at the time, you know, figured out a dollar amount on that and then, you know, added a modest amount of interest over the years as the years went in -- went on and they came up with a figure of over $600 million that would be in greenwood today had the massacre not happened. that's generations of college tuition, that's generations of house down payments, of seed money for new businesses, health
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insurance, of old age care, of you just name it, quality of life that was gone. and the reality is of course is that the massacre still has a dark shadow over our town and it's still there. you know, william faulkner once said the past isn't dead, it isn't even past, and that's the case today. now, somebody who wants to learn about, you know, a 12-year-old somewhere in london or chicago or tokyo wants to learn about the tulsa race massacre today that's a pretty easy thing to do. if you type in tulsa race massacre into google, i'm not sure what the number is right now but i did it the other day day. the other week in .15 seconds you get over a million different hits. there's tons and tons of material that's readily available. you know, there are -- there are sites, there are long articles on wikipedia, britain can a,
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vox, the xin educational process, the chicago public library has sites dedicated to the history of the tulsa massacre. virtually every photograph of the massacre we have is available online, there are extensive collections available at the department of special collections, the university of tulsa, the tulsa historical society, greenwood historical society on and on and on. this once hidden tragedy is not secret anymore. now, this was not always the case and the truth of the matter is that for 50 years here in tulsa the story of the tulsa race massacre was actively suppressed. actively suppressed. you know, when the massacre happened which of course we called the race riot, was called the race riot in those days,
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this was national news, this was front page of new york newspapers and papers in california, it made the times of london, the times of india, this was huge news all over the world and tulsa's white city fathers realized they had a terrible pr problem. here are these stories of people getting shot in the streets, of neighborhoods being, you know, burned to the ground, of railroad service being interrupted, you know, of martial law being declared. they realized early on this is a story we need to tamp down. what they tried to do first was they told the world that white tulsans are ashamed of what's happened and we are going to rebuild these 35 square blocks that have been obliterated. what they've done is they've tried to steal the land and steal the land where the greenwood commercial district had been deep greenwood and moved the african-american community further north.
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black tulsans ignored that and built with anything they could, charred bricks, lumber, orange crates and african-american lawyers defeated this fire ordinance. other things happened as well, too. there's evidence that the tulsa police chief ordered his officers in the week after the riot to go and confiscate, to go to the one black owned photography studio was destroyed but went to the white owned photography stew i don't he is in town and confiscate the negatives of the massacre. that might account why it was so difficult to find any images of the massacre until well into the 1970s. but other things happened as well, too, both the tulsa tribune and the tulsa world of course the white daily newspapers here in town they went to extreme lengths never to mention the massacre and for decade after decade after decade
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and most spectacularly by the tulsa tribune. so in the 1930s "the tribune" had a column in the op-ed page called 15 years ago in tulsa. what they would do is they would go back to whatever the issue was 15 years earlier, this he would find some stories and then they would put it together in a couple columns. well, when the 15th anniversary of the massacre came up in 1936 they had a wealth of material to write it, there were probably four or five editions of the tribune that day, gigantic huge headlines, everything that's going on. this is instead what "the tribune" wrote in 1936, 15 years ago today, ms. carolyn skelly was a charming young hostess of the past week having entertained as a luncheon and theater party for ms. kathleen sinclair and his guest ms. julia morley of saginaw, michigan.
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bouquets of roses and sweet peas on and on and on, they have four items, you know, it's as if this thing isn't happen at all. you know, thru there was more to it than that as well. official records and documents started to disappear. the day reports of the national guard you will not find them in the oklahoma historical society, somebody took them and got rid of them. but what also happened, too, is that discussions of the massacre became discouraged to say the least in south tulsa. there was an oil man, tulsa oil man by the name of campbell osbourne and he quote, for a while picture postcards of the victims in awful poses were sold on the streets and more than a few wives posted about how much notches he had on his gun. but that starts to fade away. reverend kerr, charles kerr of
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first presbyterian church came to a similar conclusion, he wrote, for 22 years i have been boosting tulsa and we have been boosest about our buildings, bank accounts and other assets but the events of the past week the massacre will put a stop to the bragging for a while. you know, i grew up in first presbyterian i was baptized there, i was confirmed there and around the time my first book came out they put out a commemorative history and they talked glowingly about how the church had a sheltered african americans during the massacre which i'm sure that they did but what they neglected to point out was that three days later they ran advertisements in the tribune and the world announcing that the church had been fumigated with the implication being that now it is going to be safe for white people to come back in it. so there is this curtain of silence that comes down. you know, i grew up here, i was
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born in 1954, st. john's, central high school, lee school, wright junior high. i had the mother of a classmate, a lee school classmate told me how -- later how she and her husband moved to tulsa in the 1950s from a small town in kansas, they had heard of the massacre and they brought it up at a dinner party and she said we were told in no uncertain terms that this is simply something you don't talk about. and i've heard plenty of other stories from, you know, people of that era as well. now, the great irony, though, is that the massacre is also not being discussed publicly in the african-american community. and there's different reasons for this. you know, part of it the way to think about it is to think of massacre survivors a comparable group as holocaust survivors and people who have gone through this horrific trauma and like
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holocaust survivors as well as world war ii vets and others, they often didn't want to burden their children or grandchildren with these terrible stories of what happened to them. they wanted to put it in the past and look towards a better future. so what happens is i know black tulsans who are my age, whose grandparents lost their homes and businesses in the massacre, that they didn't learn about that until the 1980s or 1990s. it was simply something that wasn't talked about. there was a -- and newcomers as well coming to town, living in north tulsa they experienced that as well. maria brown was a nurses'd to have moved to tulsa in the early '20s she heard nothing whatsoever of the massacre despite living in the part of greenwood. as one of the elderly white patients that she cared for at a north tulsa nursing home slipped further into dementia he started talking about what had happened
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and then maria's daughter michelle then said, quote, my mother cared for an elderly white man who on his death bed rambled on about the smoke and the fire and the shooting and killing. so baffled maria brown the mother turned to the family of her oklahoma born husband. what is he talking about, she asked? what happened in tulsa? only her in-laws brushed her away, look, they said, we don't talk about that around here. don't you go asking about it, either. and the reality is that even the oklahoma eagle which of course has been the flagship newspaper in greenwood for decades since the 1930s even they for several decades avoided talking about the massacre. on the 25th anniversary in 1946 the paper published exactly one sentence about the massacre. here is the sentence and it was buried in an editorial about the ku klux klan, the sentence was
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in 1921 racial bitterness which had been broogd for several years culminated in one of the most disastrous race riots in the nation's history, period. they didn't even mention that it was in tulsa. and, you know, the bottom line is that, you know, the story of the massacre was covered up as john hope franklin said tulsa lost its sense of honesty and it did for about 50 years. so the question is how did it come out. how do we know about this. why are we all here today? how did that all happen? and this is a story i write about more extensively, you know, in my new book but i want to talk a bit about how that happened and give you all a couple stories and so you can get a handle what's going on. it's very important to first recognize the key group and the key group was a group of survivors not a large group but
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over the decades kept telling the story, would tell the story, talk about it publicly and try to support having this thing passed on. probably the most single most important person there was w.d. williams his parents john and lula williams owned the dream land theater, they owned the williams building, they owned the east end garage, they were royalty in green wood. wd was 16 at the time of the massacre, he wrote the two lynched editorial tonight in the tribune, he watched as african-american world war i vet jumped on stage and on the afternoon of may 31st at the green land theater said shut this place down, we ain't going to have a lynching here. he watched as the vets gathered to get ready to go downtown to confront the white lynch mob and
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all that horrible night of may 31st, june 1st he helped reload his father's 3030 rifle, repeating shotgun as his dad fought off the whites trying to invade greenwood. he watched the mass innovation on the morning of june 1st and survived the massacre. he is very important. so is may believe little, mabel little was up front about it. her and her husband press they lost their café during the massacre, lost their home, you know, and she was somebody who would always -- would talk about it. but i think it's important to remember that talking about it also could have consequences and few people knew this better than a woman by the name of nancy feldman, nancy goodman was not originally from tulsa, she grew up in wealth and luxury on the north shore of chicago, her family lived in a mansion, you know, a couple blocks from the
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shores of lake michigan. they had a live-in chauffeur, you know, she had -- her mother felt that the clothes that young nancy as a little girl was -- that she could buy down in downtown chicago weren't good enough for her so even during the great depression she would go to new york and buy outfits for her precious daughter. nancy was different. in high school she realized early on in high school that she didn't want to be a part of the kind of the crazy bobby socksers boy crazy set that the other girls were, she wasn't interested in any of that and she became a competitive swimmer and became a world class swimmer and diver to the point where if the 1940 olympics had happened in london, she would have competed for the united states, but then she had a terrible accident, she broke her back, that ended her swimming career and she threw all of her efforts into studying now. she graduates from northwestern in i think three years, then
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became one of a handful of women to attend the university of chicago law school during the war. she meets raymond feldman this charming world war ii vet, jewish from vet, jewish from tulsa. they get married. in 1946 she moves to tulsa and it was a shock. she had grown up in this urbane liberal household and she goes to oklahoma. she said as soon as the train got to the missouri oklahoma border, the train stopped and the train cars' passengers segregated. until that point, blacks and whites could sit everywhere. once it stopped, it changed. she was so outraged that she refused to move. she comes to tulsa. her husband is a lawyer. she tries to get a job but she can't because she's a woman. she said whenever i get a chance to have a job interview, the first question would be, how fast do you type?
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partners in a law firm would invite her for dinner and all that. she got so frustrated. she finally threw in the towel on lawyering and instead started to teach at the university of tulsa in a sociology club. t.u. in the late '40s, this is a local university. it's not a national, international place. all the students are white with maybe an occasional asian or near eastern engineering student. all the kids are local. they're not from chicago, st. louis. she starts teaching sociology. she throws herself into it. since she had been an athlete, she was interested in recreation. she ended up meeting the only african-american professional employee of the city of the parks department. a man by the name of robert fairchild. and robert fairchild was very important to me later on. he knew dick roland.
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he worked with him. he was a key source for me. but he started to tell nancy about the race massacre. and she was just flabbergasted. she had heard of the 1919 race riot. nothing here. she goes to her in-laws and said, did this happen? they said yes, it did. so the next day she goes to her students and says she met this robert fairchild and told them and she said nothing like that ever happened here. she said go home and ask your parents. they'll tell you. so they went home and asked their parents. they come to school the next day and said no, our parents said no, nothing like this happened at all. this is around 1947, 1948. so she then brings robert fairchild into class to speak. that's kind of on the edge for oklahoma race relations in 1948. but he comes into class. he speaks to the class. he tells his story. and she thought that would be
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the end of it. but of course that was not the end of it. because her dean then called her in and said if she ever did that again, she would be fired. for nancy, this is what she told me. she said that wasn't the worst of it. remember, my students were all white tulsa kids. they had all grown up here. yet before i brought bob fairchild into class, not a single one had ever heard about the riot. in less than three years, it had been erased from the collect memory. can you imagine going to new york city right now, to a high school, and if nobody had ever heard of 9/11? i mean, this is an astonishing event. so she does not turn out to be the only one pushing back against this. many of you have heard of ed wheeler. he was as straight an arrow as
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you can imagine. he was a young businessman in tulsa, in the late '60s, early '70s. he was a vietnam veteran. he had been a great supporter of the republican party when oklahoma was still reliably democratic. he has tons of energy. he's a businessman during the day but he also created a radio program that ran on kdoo on sunday nights and maybe, i can't remember, one other night a week. and he called it the guilt creek store. he would take stories from the west and he would have sound effects and lots of cowboys and indians and guns going off and they were fun. he put a lot of work into them. i remember hearing them as a teenager. but he had also caught wind of the massacre. so as the 50th anniversary started to approach in 1971, he that, look, i'll going to
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research this. i'll write a story about this formed chamber of comers magazine. we're going to finally put it out. so he goes to work. and he discovers all these records are missing. and he starts to wonder, he said, it just seemed deliberate. better not write that article. don't you dare do it. he lived in brookside at 54th and madison or something with his wife and infant child. they started getting phone calls all during the night threatening their lives, threatening his wife's life, threatening child's life. one day he went out to his doorstep on the way to work and there was a dead chicken laying on it. another day he went out to the car. there was a note on the windshield that said, best check under the hood next time. meaning that we're going to bomb your car if you do it. look, this is a guy who fought in vietnam. he knew what was going on. he said i wasn't personally worried myself.
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i was concerned for my child and my wife. so they moved in with the in-laws. and he went ahead and wrote the story. an editor at the world or the tribune said, this is the best thing we've ever seen and there ain't no way we're ever going to print it. meanwhile there was a liberal young editor at the tulsa chamber of comers magazine by the name of larry sillvie. he said i'll publish it. he prepared to do it. then the executive board heard about it. and for the first time in their history, they overruled and it killed the article. so you know, the reality is that this thing is shut down. but there was somebody that people weren't prepared to deal with. and that person is don ross. don ross, i don't think there's a single person out there in some ways who has had a bigger impact in terms of trying to get the story of the massacre out and also, coloring the way that we understand it.
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some of you all know don. he was born here in tulsa. raised in tulsa and partially in bow nita. he graduated from booker t. in '59 or so. he goes to college briefly, into the air force, comes back, works as a union, the first african-american banker in the state of oklahoma. the wonder bread factory gets involved in politics and the civil rights movement in tulsa and goes on. along the line, he starts writing for the oklahoma eagle. he's funny, irreverent. the whole thing. and he had heard about this tulsa race riot, what we called in it those days. in fact, he heard about it from w.d. williams, that one survivor. and he decided that he's going to do something about it. so in late 1968, he decides he will break the taboo in north tulsa and tell the story of the massacre. and he did. he did it in a series of
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articles. for the eagle. he reintroduced mary harris' material, referring to deep greenwood as the, quote, wall street. he talks about that and starts breaking the taboo. he later said he caught hell for doing all that. why are you bringing it up? why are you doing it? that was the process. and then two years, three years later, he ends up publishing ed wheeler's story in a small african-american magazine called oklahoma alley. so the story starts to get out. in the '70s and into the '80s, i play a role in this as well. growing up in tulsa in the 1960s, even as a little kid, i heard occasionally adults talking about the race riot. maybe neighbors or something like that. when you walk into the room, they would change the subject or lower their voices. noble in my family lived in
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tulsa in 1921. there wasn't a source of that. i heard stories of bodies floating down the arkansas river. machine guns, planes, all that. you know, somehow by the summer of 1966, i turned 12. i also knew june 1921. whatever this thing was. and one day that summer, my two best friends and i, we were goofing around downtown and we went to the brand new city county library in which we liked to hang out. it was air conditioned and we would get in minor trouble and do all this stuff. one day we saw something we had never, ever seen before. a microfiche sheet. we were dead set determined we would use this thing. we would go over there and fiddling with the dials and here come this librarian marching over. and she was brilliant. because rather than shoo us away, she taught us how to use the machine. so here are all these big metal
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cabinets with these microfiche of the old tribune. i remember june 1921. so the first roll we put into the machine is of the world for that day. and we are just flabbergasted. these giant headlines. 100 killed in race, martial law declared, machine guns. and we're 12 years old. we don't have the wherewithal to try to understand what the heck is going on. but i knew at that point that my home town did have a skeleton in its closet. that that was real. and then, of course, as a college student in the summer of 1975, i'm offered a small college in portland, oregon. i develop a senior thesis. i come back home and i start researching the massacre. i interview w.d. williams, a great breakthrough for me and understanding what's going on. that later becomes death in the
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promise land that came out in 1982. it got minor coverage, you know, not a whole lot of coverage. the survivors threw a book party for me. it was very humbling to have these ancient folks who had all been adults during the massacre with their white hair and their walkers and canes get their books signed. that was a very meaningful moment to me. i can tell that you death in the promise land was the second most stolen book out of the tulsa library system. not only the main companies but also the branch libraries got swiped, too. once a year i send them a box of books. things started to open up a little here and there. the moment that changes everything is in the spring of 1995 when the murrow federal building is bombed in oklahoma city. this is pre-9/11. this is giant. the "today" show flew its entire new york crew from manhattan to
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oklahoma city to broadcast live for a week. the host of the "today" show is brine gumball. during that week, remember don ross? he's now oklahoma state legislator representing greenwood. he meets don ross -- don ross meets brian and said, as horrible has the bombing is, there is another story that has never gotten the attention it needs. and ross gave him copy of a death in a promise land. ten days later, don and i each got a call from a "today" show producer that said on the 75th anniversary, the "today" show will do a story. this was gigantic. in 1982 when my book came out, there was not a news story in a national news media with the
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massacre since the 1920s. a lot of things started coming together. black wall street, money is raised for the memorial. there will be a ceremony and all that. nbc comes. they interview, they film a bunch of survivors. they film me as well. and they put together this story. and this is great. but i thought about two weeks out, i realized, well, shoot. if the "today" show is doing this story, i bet i can leverage that to get more press. so i got on the phone. in a week i got "the new york times," the associated press, national public radio and i think cpi was still in existence. all agreed to do stories. when the 75th anniversary happened, all of a sudden there was all this national news about it. okay? but here's the trick. because ross was smart. he then took all that coverage to the governor and the state legislature and said, wait a
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second. we have this horrible event here. there was never an official report on it. we need to create a commission on this. so they agreed to do that. the tulsa race riot commission. and i'm sure they thought, we'll give them a few thousand dollars. they can do their report and we'll report it. but don ross had other ideas. he is out for reparations. he knew how to count votes. he made sure there was a majority of commissioners in favor of reparations. so the commission is established. i'm hired as the lead scholar, along with john hopeful he was very busy to, you know, to help create the report and do research. and you know, i tried to figure out, what am i going to do? there was a feeling amongst the commissioners, those white people are still holding onto all these records. we need to see them. i thought, there ain't no records.
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i went looking. they're not there. what could i do to help make a contribution? it was at that point that i decided that it was time, number one, to figure out how many people died but also to search for the mass graves. the first thing i did is i went to the survivor community, people i had known for a long time and said, do you want me to do this? to a woman and a man they all said, please do so. i went to don ross. he said, i can't imagine anyone in the african-american community would not want to know where this was. i went to the commission, they said, fine, do it. i got a lot of help very quickly. the renowned anthropologist clyde snow lended me his expertise. bring in the state medical examiner, state archaeologist. then i got the dream secret weapon, which was a crew-cutted bug-eyed ex-forklift salesman,
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cpa, life long republican named dick warner who was a volunteer at the tulsa historical society. he was mr. tulsa. if you wanted to know where the all-metal house was, ask dick. if you wanted to know where someone lived, ask dick. if you want to know where you can get a decent chicken fried steak at 3:00 on a thursday afternoon, he knew it. he was a brilliant natural researcher. the other thing was this. he had a certain way about him that he could get doors to open from city workers and employees. he could talk into back rooms that had been difficult for me, 15 years earlier, 20 years earlier as a college student in a cowboy shirt. they didn't want to deal with
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me. over three years, we interviewed 300 people, survivors, eyewitnesses, cemetery workers, funeral home directors, you name it. we found records nobody had looked at in 80 years. we ended up identifying three areas in town, oaklawn cemetery, new block park and the booker t. washington cemetery, now rolling oaks memorial gardens on 91st and and harvard, african-american cemetery, where we became convinced that massacre victims were buried in unmarked graves. the state archaeologist got involved. they started doing work. the local associated press -- we had been quiet about this because i didn't want to raise expectations that we were going to find anything. i wanted to see if we could get close. the local associated press stringer in tulsa, kelly kirk brown, she caught wind of the
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story. she wrote a story about did in 1999. the words, mass graves, were just like a neon sign. the story becomes national. abc news comes, journalists from japan, sweden, switzerland, england all come to do stories about the race massacre. unfortunately, our effort got caught up in the politics of the day and the politics of the commission. we were shut down. we were shut down first by the race riot commission and then we were shut down by the city. obviously, we were crushed and disappointed by all of that. i put away my files. i remembered thinking, some day somewhere is going to want to look at this. i don't know whether it will be in my lifetime or not. moved on to other things. there were people -- don's son,
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he kept the flag flying, we need to find these graves, we need to find these people, for 20 years, a long, lonely period. then in 2018, 2019, i started hearing rumors that the city was interested in getting the investigation going again. the newly elected mayor had reached out to the state archaeologist. i have to say this about the mayor. he has been terrific with this project. before he was mayor, he tried to get the city to reopen the investigation. but the then mayor shut him down. he has a history with this. all right? in 2019, i got contacted by the mayor's office. i met him. he asked me to head up a new reinvigorated investigation. as you all know, we have been at
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this now for a while. we have done a lot more interviewed. we have identified an additional site, which is next to new block park, a homeless encampment where i believe a mass grave existed there. we did our first excavation in oaklawn in july. it turned out to be a bust. we thought we had it and didn't. in october, we discovered a mass grave in oaklawn cemetery. on tuesday, we will begin exhuming that grave with the idea to see -- these people were thrown away. their loved ones were being held under armed guard in these internment camps. they were never told what happened to their husband, brother, father, their aunt. they were not allowed. they were never told where they were. it's our duty as a city to bring them back home. the idea is that we will study them to see what we can do to possibly identify them, extract dna. we will see what we can do. they will be reburied with honor, hopefully in greenwood somewhere. and memorialized. my belief is that if we have a proper memorial, like the tomb
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of the unknown soldier, something like that, this is not only going to become a shrine to victims of the massacre, it's going to be a shrine to victims of racist violence in america that have gone on for centuries. [ applause ] i believe there will become a national shrine. i want to shut up here. i do want to just end with one thing. this story is out now. okay? the story of the massacre is out. there are still some big questions. there will be questions for a long time that we don't know. you know, this notion that we really don't know what happened, blah, blah, blah, don't believe it. we know a lot about it. okay? this effort to find the victims of the massacre, i believe it will go on. we have more work to do. but there is another piece of work that we have not done, and that absolutely has to happen. the fact of the matter is,
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without a doubt, the three remaining survivors of the massacre, the descendents of any and all survivors of the massacre deserve some form of financial restitution for what happened to them and their families in 1921. it is not simply a case that people tried to murder them and killed their loved ones and friends, destroyed their homes, destroyed their businesses and destroyed their futures. their city government let them down. their state government let them down. the federal government let them down. they did not even do any sort of investigation into what had happened. the insurance companies let them down. some of whom still exist today, who reneged on paying the claims that were made and need to go. this is unfinished work that we need to do. it's not going to be easy. in all honesty, the question of
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reparations is a complicated subject. anyone who says it isn't is joking -- is fooling themselves. in this case, the massacre is a discreet, finite event that did not last very long. less than 16 hours. it's going to be hard, but i think we can identify these people. i think it's the right thing to do. thank you so much. [ applause ] tonight, a national project service manager discusses misconceptions surrounding the american revolution southern campaigns. the emerging revolutionary war blog co-hosted the talk as part of a day long symposium on the war. that starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv. exploring the people and events that tell the american story every weekend. saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war. elizabeth and william of the
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university of virginia's now center for civil war history on their project, black virginians in blue about african-american union soldiers fighting for emancipation on lectures in history, university of california riverside professor, on the lives of women during the american revolution and the early republic. and sunday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on american artifacts on the french ship at the 18th century port of yorktown, virginia. designed for the french vessel in 1780. exploring the american story. watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. on may 31st, 1921, tensions over the arrest of a young black man for his interactions with a white woman led to an armed mob of white men marching on the predominantly african-american
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greenwood district in tulsa, oklahoma. over the next day, the neighborhood known as black wall street was burned to the ground and hundreds of african-americans were killed. up next, the great granddaughter of a massacre survivor discusses the events of 100 years ago and the steps she believes are needed for tulsa to heal. this talk is part of a national symposium held by the john hope franklin center for reconciliation. they provided the video. >> as you may know, i am the great granddaughter of mary e. jones parrish. the first person to write an eyewitness account about the 1921 tulsa race massacre. my great grandmother was a journalist and a writer. she was also a teacher. so she was well versed in the literary arts. also, she was someone who was


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