Second Search For Tulsa Race Massacre Victims To Start In October | KGOU

Second Search For Tulsa Race Massacre Victims To Start In October

Oct 7, 2020

The City of Tulsa announced a second search for the remains of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre will start in October at Oaklawn Cemetery. 

According to a press release, the test excavation and core sampling will focus on two areas in the southwest section of the cemetery, one where funeral home records indicate 18 Black massacre victims were buried and another where a young boy witnessed burials at the time. 

The test excavation begins Oct. 19.

Archaeological crews completed the first test excavation in July of this year in an area along the western edge of the cemetery, but no evidence of human remains were discovered. 

As many as 300 people were killed and nearly 9,000 people were left homeless during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American History.

During a press conference in July, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said the ultimate goal of the investigation is to connect the victims of the massacre with their families.  

"It should not have taken 99 years for us to be doing this investigation, but this generation of Tulsans is committed to doing what's right by our neighbors and of following the truth, wherever it leads us," Bynum said. 

The test excavation is expected to take up to one week. 

KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.