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105-Year-Old Woman Leads Reparations Lawsuit For 1921 Tulsa Massacre

105-Year-Old Woman Leads Reparations Lawsuit For 1921 Tulsa Massacre

105-Year-Old Woman Leads Reparations Lawsuit For 1921 Tulsa Massacre
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Tulsa woman is one of two known survivors of the massacre still alive.

A 105-year-old woman is leading a lawsuit seeking reparations for the 1921 Tulsa massacre that led to the deaths of 300 Black people.

In a report from The Guardian, the woman — Lessie Benningfield Randle — is serving as the lead plaintiff for a group of Oklahomans who filed the lawsuit together on Tuesday. Per The Guardian:

The lawsuit accuses the city of Tulsa, Tulsa county, the then serving sheriff of Tulsa county, the Oklahoma national guard and Tulsa regional chamber of being directly involved in the massacre.

“The Greenwood massacre deprived Black Tulsans of their sense of security, hard-won economic power and vibrant community,” Solomon-Simmons, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, said. “[It] created a nuisance that continues to this day. The nuisance has led to the devaluation of property in Greenwood and has resulted in significant racial disparities in every quality of life metric – life expectancy, health, unemployment, education level, and financial security.

“The defendants in this case have continued the massacre in slow motion for nearly a century,” Solomon-Simmons added.

Randle is one of two known survivors of the massacre still alive. The Guardian also noted that the great-granddaughter of JB Stradford – owner of the Stradford hotel in Greenwood, the largest Black-owned hotel in the United States at the time of the massacre – as well as grandchildren of people killed in the massacre are also listed as plaintiffs.

The 1921 Tulsa massacre was a topic of discussion last year when it was the focus of the premiere of HBO’s Watchmen series. In the series, relatives of victims of the 1921 Tulsa massacre have been granted reparations, known as “Redfordations” that are named after the president in the show, Robert Redford.

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