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Watch Live: Tulsa race massacre survivors testify before House committee

▶ Watch Video: CBSN 3

Washington — The last known survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre are slated to testify before a House subcommittee today to discuss the lasting effects of the event 100 years later.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties plans to consider legal remedies to atone for the damage a violent mob did to a thriving Tulsa neighborhood then known as “Black Wall Street.” Although the Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics originally recorded only 36 deaths after the event, a 2001 state commission estimated the number to be between 75 and 300.


How to watch Greenwood survivors testify before House committee

  • What: House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties 

  • Date: Wednesday, May 19

  • Time: 9:30 a.m. ET

  • Location:  U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. 

  • Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device.


That commission recommended that reparations be paid to the Greenwood community, but 20 years later, survivors of the massacre and their descendants have not received any direct compensation for the event’s effect on their lives.

In addition to a panel with three survivors of the massacre — Hughes Van Ellis, Viola Fletcher and Lessie Benningfield Randle — several experts on the event and human rights activists plan to address the subcommittee.

The three remaining survivors are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against the city and county of Tulsa last year that seeks reparations for the event. Joining them in the suit are descendants of other survivors, Vernon AME Church and the Tulsa African Ancestral Society.

The massacre, which will reach its 100th anniversary on May 31, has garnered increased attention in recent years. At least 10 bodies possibly linked to it were found in a mass grave last fall as archaeologists searched for the remains of potential victims. The event, which has often been ignored by history books, has also gotten attention in pop culture, being recreated in the recent HBO series “Watchmen” and “Lovecraft County.”



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