Black Wall Street memorial march led by survivors of the horse-drawn carriage massacre

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Legacy Fest featured three survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Viola Ford Fletcher, Lessie Benningfield Randle and Ellis Van Hughes, who led the Black Wall Street Memorial March on Friday morning.

In a horse-drawn carriage, “Mother” Fletcher, “Mother” Randle and “Uncle Red” greeted the crowd, who quickly surrounded the trio on their ride, for an emotionally powerful and awe-inspiring moment between three people who survived. the worst racial pogrom in history.

Immediately behind Mother Fletcher, Mother Randle and Uncle Red was the African Ancestral Society, led by Chief Amusan. The group, whose members wore traditional African clothing, sang and chanted around the car and the rest of the crowd.

A crowd gathers around the last three surviving survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre (Mike Creef / The Black Wall Street Times)

Walk through Tulsa

The Black Wall Street Memorial March began at Carver Middle School in Greenwood, a public school in Tulsa that was recently featured for its focus on historic Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Running Massacre of 1921. L he school has an exterior project that uses murals and art signs to highlight important events and people from 1921, as well as before and after.

A mural, which depicts scenes from the blaze of Greenwood and Black Wall Street, also celebrates Greenwood’s resilience in the months and years following the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.

“I think it’s important for our students to understand what happened in Tulsa in 1921 and what they need to do to ensure that we are building a community that is together and united for positive change,” said Principal Elton Sykes.

Tulsa race massacre horse-drawn carriage

Tulsa City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper speaks outside the Greenwood Cultural Center after the Black Wall Street Memorial March. (Mike Creef / The Black Wall Street Times)

In search of “repairs now”

The march, which went from Carver Middle School to the Greenwood Cultural Center, has stopped several times for the crowd to chant its support for the survivors, the community – and for reparations for the survivors and descendants of the massacre of the race of Tulsa in 1921.

“Mother” Randle is 106 years old and “Mother” Fletcher is 107 years old. Both remember being forced to flee for their lives with their families during the massacre, which took place from May 31 to June 2. “Uncle” Red was six years old. several months old, and escaped with his family in a boxcar, with the adults unable to salvage family memories. According to Uncle Red’s daughter, Malee Crafts, the family left with only the clothes on their backs.

Other notable groups in attendance were the Tulsa Jewish Federation, made up of Temple Israel and Congregation B’nai Emunah; All Souls Church, carrying placards supporting reparations, and the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Tulsa race massacre horse-drawn carriage

The last three surviving survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Running Massacre lead the Black Wall Street Memorial March (Mike Creef / The Black Wall Street Times)

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