Cox Business Convention Center Hosts Tulsa Race Massacre Commemoration

Saturday, May 29th 2021, 7:53 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Hundreds of people gathered Saturday at the Cox Business Convention Center for a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor's luncheon.

It was an event honoring both the lives lost and lessons taught from the massacre.  

For survivors and their families, the luncheon was more than a centennial commemoration. It was a way to keep their stories alive.

Survivor descendant Jackie Weary's great-grandfather, John Emerson, survived the 1921 massacre.

"It was very heartwarming to be with the other descendants," Weary said.

Emerson, a business owner of Black Wall Street, hid under train tracks during the attack. 

"It was very humbling because it has been a hundred years,” Weary said. “There has been no recognition, no nothing. And now it's time.”  

Speakers from across the country, including U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren attended the luncheon.

Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, who helped organize the event, said the goal is to make sure these survivors are remembered.

"For years, this story was erased from the history books,” Crutcher said. “No one knew about it. And, as we come back on the centennial, all eyes will be on Tulsa and we will finally right that wrong.”

An anonymous donor gave out $100,000 checks were given to three living survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre: Lessie Randal, Viola Fletcher and Hughes Van Ellis.

Weary said she's inspired to keep honoring Black lives in the name of her great-grandfather. 

"I am going to do everything, so that I can to pull someone else up," Weary said. “We are going to survive like they did, and we are going to overcome a lot and we are going to be victorious over all of this."