'Black Wall Street Legacy Fest' To Commemorate 100 Years Since Tulsa Race Massacre

Tuesday, May 11th 2021, 8:35 am
By: Shannon Rousseau

TULSA, Oklahoma -

May 31 will mark 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre, which is believed to be the single worst incident of racial violence in American history.

Historians estimate that up to 300 people died between May 31 and June 1, 1921. Now, 100 years later, a three-week festival called Black Wall Street Legacy Fest will take place, starting May 28 and ending June 19, to remember the victims and survivors. However, most of the main events will happen May 28 through May 30.

Three survivors of the race massacre, members of Congress, Hollywood actors, and others will help to commemorate the centennial during that first weekend (May 28 through May 30). All events will take place in Tulsa's Greenwood District.

The last known survivors of the massacre will headline the event: Lessie Benningfield Randle (106), Viola Fletcher (107), and Hughes Van Ellis (100). All three will lead a procession and take part in an event to honor their legacy while continuing the fight for justice.

United States Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump, and Tulsa native turned Hollywood actress Alfre Woodard are just some of the notable guests who are expected to attend. 

Senator Booker, who will join the festival virtually, is the lead sponsor of S.40, which is legislation that would establish an expert federal commission to study the legacy of slavery in the United States and ongoing harms. The legislation would also develop proposals for how to provide redress and repair, including economic and institutional reparations. 

The following people are also expected to attend Legacy Fest:

  1. Tulsa native Alfre Woodard, actress, producer, political activist
  2. Ben Crump, national civil rights attorney 
  3. Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist 
  4. Nicole Austin-Hillery, executive director of the US Program at Human Rights Watch
  5. Daniel Roumain, composer and performer
  6. Tulsa native Jay Ellis, actor, philanthropist, and entrepreneur
  7. Brandan 'B-mike' Odums, visual artist and political activist

The Oklahoma City Thunder will also sponsor a luncheon on Saturday, May 29, to honor the three survivors.

Different programs will also take place throughout the weekend of May 28 through May 30. The programs will explore urgent issues, ranging from the needs of those still living with the everyday consequences of the massacre, to the erasure of essential history, to the state and future of Black Wall Street.

For more information about Legacy Fest, Click Here.