On May 31, 1921, just over 100 years ago, a white mob of several thousand murdered up to 300 Black residents, and destroyed almost every Black business, church, and home in the 35-square-block neighborhood. The massacre, known as the Tulsa Race Massacre, took place in the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the streets were lined with successful Black-owned businesses and Black professionals. The district was so successful that the area was dubbed “Black Wall Street.”
This week, attorneys representing the three remaining Tulsa Race Massacre survivors and their descendants provided an update on their lawsuit against the city. Lawyers for plaintiffs are now seeking to use the same Oklahoma statute that figured into the decisions against Johnson & Johnson in 2019 for its role in the opioid crisis. Plaintiffs accuse the city of Tulsa and other defendants of causing a "public nuisance by failing to make reparations for the Massacre," leading to subsequent litigation against the city for "denying access to important historical documents relating to the massacre in violation of the Oklahoma Open Records Act.” A public nuisance is defined as something that affects an entire community or neighborhood simultaneously but "damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal."
Meanwhile, the city of Tulsa and other defendants have moved to dismiss the case, arguing it has been too long since the race massacre for claims to be made.
Read the full article here.