HISTORY + RACISM

At What Point Is Justice Delayed, Denied For 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre?

Oklahoma Supreme Court denied claims of survivors and descendants.

Allison Wiltz
7 min readJun 14, 2024

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Black men forced held at gunpoint by White man | Tulsa Historical Society & Museum | Photo by Jason Carrison

The image of Black men holding their hands in the air as an armed White man forces them to march toward a detention center during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre is a visual reminder of the real people impacted by this tragedy, the lives lost, the terror inflicted, and community forever changed. And yet, despite this well-documented injury, neither the state of Oklahoma nor the federal government has engaged in the restorative justice process, repeatedly denying any claim for reparations made by the survivors and their descendants.

While justice delayed isn’t always justice denied, there has to be a threshold where one can concede that justice truly has been denied. Perhaps the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision to reject the last two survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre their reparations claim is that line. Far too often, Black Americans have been subjected to racial discrimination and violence with no recourse. And the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the most violent attacks on a black community in the history of this country, is a prime example.

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Allison Wiltz

Black womanist Scholar bylines @ Momentum, Oprah Daily, ZORA, GEN, EIC of Cultured #WEOC Founder allisonthedailywriter.com https://ko-fi.com/allyfromnola