After 100 years, Tulsa massacre survivors will have their day in court
A judge has ruled that a case filed in 2020 will go ahead, despite the city seeking to have it dismissed
A lawsuit filed by the last three living survivors of the Tulsa race massacre of May 1921 will move forward, signalling a marked shift from years of silence regarding the attack.
An Oklahoma district court judge on Monday rejected the city’s request to dismiss the suit. Lawyers for the survivors say this will allow them to go through pretrial fact-finding and prove their case that the city perpetuated ongoing harm against survivors and other black residents by exploiting the history of the massacre and failing to provide restorative efforts, such as rebuilding a hospital after the existing one was burnt to the ground.
“The court’s ruling is incredibly important,” Michael Swartz, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said. “It means that after 100 years the three living survivors of the Tulsa race massacre will finally have an opportunity to hold the institutions that instigated, facilitated and brutally implemented one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism in this country’s history accountable for their actions and to seek to repair the continuing harm done to their once-thriving community.”..