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Woman, 105, Leads Lawsuit Seeking Reparations For 1921 Tulsa Massacre

A group of Oklahomans, led by 105-year-old woman, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday demanding reparations for the 1921 Tulsa race massacre which saw white mobs burn down a thriving black neighborhood and kill hundreds of people.

The lawsuit alleges that the massacre, one of the worst acts of racial violence in US history, still overshadows the neighborhood of Greenwood, and that racial inequality in Tulsa today can be traced back to the events of almost 100 years ago.

An estimated 300 black people were killed on 31 May and 1 June 1921, after a white mob, backed by local authorities and police, destroyed 35 city blocks and displaced thousands of African Americans.

The massacre was brought into focus earlier this year when Donald Trump scheduled a campaign rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth, the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US. After widespread condemnation, Trump moved the rally to the next day.

The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit is Lessie Benningfield Randle, 105, one of two known survivors of the massacre still alive.

Randle still experiences flashbacks of bodies stacked up on the street as the neighborhood burned, her attorneys said.

Other plaintiffs include the great-granddaughter of JB Stradford, who owned the Stradford hotel in Greenwood, the largest black-owned hotel in the United States at the time of the massacre, and grandchildren of people killed.

The lawsuit accuses the city of Tulsa, Tulsa county, the then serving sheriff of Tulsa county, the Oklahoma national guard and Tulsa regional chamber of being directly involved in the massacre.

The defendants, lawyers allege, have “unjustly enriched themselves at the expense of the black citizens of Tulsa and the survivors and descendants of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre”.

Read entire article at The Guardian