May 31, 2021

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Recognizes the Centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre

Oakland, CA  Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today released the following statement in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Greenwood Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921:

“It has been 100 years since the horrific tragedy of the Tulsa Greenwood Massacre. In one of the worst acts of racist violence in United States history, a white mob ransacked a prosperous African American neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as Black Wall Street. 

“A thriving Black community became the target of animosity and racial hatred by its neighbors. A grand jury placed the blame for the massacre entirely on the Black community. No white person was ever held accountable for these crimes. This is an example of the horrors and the experience of living as a Black person in America then and now.

“Up until recently, the silence in Tulsa, in Oklahoma and in the United States about this massacre was an intentional effort to whitewash our nation’s racialized past. But we must remember these stories; we must tell the truth about our past.

“This week, I am joining the Black Tulsan community to recognize, remember, and respect the survivors of this massacre and learn from this tragedy. I’m proud to be a supporter of Rep. Hank Johnson’s Tulsa-Greenwood Massacre Claims Accountability Act of 2021, which creates a federal cause of action for massacre-related claims by survivors and their descendants and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s H.Res. 398, Recognizing the Forthcoming Centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which passed the house on May 18th. I am also a strong supporter of Congresswoman Jackson Lee’s H.R. 40 legislation calling for a commission to study and develop reparations. 

“The intentional white washing of our harmful past is yet another example of why we must seize the moment, fight for reparations and establish a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Commission. Without understanding and learning from our history, we are bound to repeat it. This a time for public education so we achieve our goal of dismantling systemic racism.”