The University of Oklahoma has been doing serious work to figure out what exactly happened to the many African-Americans murdered during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. And surprise, their team seems to have found a possible mass grave site underneath a city cemetery. Still, the team still is not sure how many people may have been buried there.
The use of modern technology has been helpful in locating these graves. According to Scott Hammerstedt, a senior researcher for the Oklahoma Archeological Survey, the institutions’ geophysical scans have enabled the researchers to pinpoint two areas in the Oaklawn Cemetery that may have the bodies of those who lost their lives during the Tulsa race riots back in the early 1900s, almost 100 years ago.
NBC News reports that the surveys reveal that there may be a grave that is about 30 by 25 feet under the soil in a trench.
It is also believed that there is another potential gravesite, the privately-owned Booker T. Washington Cemetery. The city is seeking permission to do a scan there also.
After hearing a rumor about the locations of the mass graves, Tulsa native and Mayor G.T. Bynum initiated an investigation in October 2018. Bynum is a great-great-grandson of Robert Newton Bynum, who served as mayor from 1899 to 1900 and has roots in the city that reach to the time with this national blemish happened. A career Republican, he not only wanted answers but himself called the murderous riot a “point of shame for our community.”
It is nerve-wracking and heart-wrenching at the same time. One of the researchers on the project, a forensic anthropologist named Phoebe Stubblefield from the University of Florida leveled expectations by sharing that there could be 10 to 100 people there, but it is unlikely that the remains would be identifiable.
Also according to NBC, as urgent as this new discovery seems, there will be no rush to get answers. The team and the public oversight committee will not be working on this until after they meet in February. Until then, the city has been advised to keep these areas on locked– hoping that people don’t come and further molest the bones of the ancestors that remain restless until the city decides if they want to explore excavation and giving just dignity to these professionals killed for living and excelling in the American dream.
So you may wonder what started these riots… GLAD YOU ASKED!
In May of 1921, a Black teenaged boy was falsely accused of assaulting a white woman. The boy’s name was Dick Rowland.
This is also why the case regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1866 has to be looked at very closely. This act was the legislation that afforded these brilliant Black people the opportunities to be millionaires only one generation away from slavery.
Please do the math!