A second excavation begins Monday at a cemetery in an effort to find and identify victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and shed light on violence that left hundreds dead and decimated an area that was once a cultural and economic mecca for African Americans.
“I realize we can tell this story the way it needs to be told, now,” said Phoebe Stubblefield, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Florida and a descendant of a survivor of the massacre who is assisting the search, told The Associated Press. ”The violence happened on May 31 and June 1 in 1921, when a white mob attacked Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, killing an estimated 300 people and wounding 800 more while robbing and burning businesses, homes and churches.
The two locations to be searched are in Oaklawn Cemetery in north Tulsa, where a search for remains of victims ended without success in July, and near the Greenwood District where the massacre took place.
The massacre — which happened two years after what is known as the “Red Summer,” when hundreds of African Americans died at the hands of white mobs in violence around the U.S. —- has been depicted in recent HBO shows “Watchmen” and “Lovecraft County.”
One site to be searched, known as the Original 18, is where old funeral home records indicate up to 18 Black people who were massacre victims were buried.
The other site is where a man named Clyde Eddy said in the 1990s that, as a 10-year-old boy, he saw Black bodies being prepared for burial shortly after the massacre, but was told to leave the area.
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