Tulsa Band Uses Its Voice To Tell About 1921 The Tulsa Race Massacre

Friday, November 20th 2020, 4:13 pm
By: Ashlyn Brothers

The Tulsa band Freak Juice is using its voice to tell the story of Tulsa's past.

The band told News On 6 they hope their song about the Tulsa Race Massacre can be a learning tool for Tulsans and people across the country.   

Tori Ruffin said when he first came to Tulsa about 17 years ago, he was shocked to learn about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which is something he said he never learned in history class, so he wrote a song about it.

Ruffin said the song starts out alluding to the fact that he believes American’s are ill-informed  

"Here's a little story that you might not know,” said Tori Ruffin, founder and front man of Freak Juice. 

In just 16 bars, Tori Ruffin, and his band Freak Juice, paint a picture of the terrors that happened in Tulsa in 1921.  

"A lot of good people ended up dead," Tori Ruffin said.  

Ruffin said it's time to talk about the past, and that’s something the band hopes to achieve with its recently released album They Call Us Juice. The album covers many topics, and Stanley Fary said a lot of research went into their song Dirty Little Secret about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.  

“A lot of wounds were opened up that we're trying close and heal and move away from, and it's just time to speak on it,” said Stanley Fary, drummer for Freak Juice. "Oklahoma have a lot of secrets and some of them not so good." 

MC Christopher Simpson said while performing he tries to channel what his ancestors at the time were feeling.  

"[W]hich is pain, which is anger, which is wanting reconciliation, wanting truth told. Wanting to reconnect and tell a part of our history, even though it's a dark history," said Simpson, MC and co-front man of Freak Juice. 

Ruffin said he always tries to leave audiences with a sense of hope and something to think about.  

"What can we do differently to become the America that we talk about,” said Ruffin. “Land of the free. Home of the brave. Equality for everybody." 

Ruffin said the final message of the song “Dirty Little Secret” is simple but necessary.  

"You and I must find a better way. Live for a brighter day," Ruffin said.  

To listen to Freak Juice’s latest album, you can visit platforms like iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify, or click here to view the band’s website. They also hold performances at the Juicemaker Lounge in Tulsa.