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Local author, historian of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre dies

Eddie Faye Gates
Posted at 12:41 PM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-13 14:27:32-05

TULSA, Okla. — Eddie Faye Gates, an author and local advocate for the Greenwood community, passed away on Dec. 9, 2021. She was 87.

Gates is most well-known for the stories she collected of families in Greenwood and publishing about the impacts of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre on Tulsa. According to the Victory of Greenwood's website, Gates taught at Tulsa Public Schools for 22 years.

She became an author after retiring from teaching. Some of her published works include They Came Searching: How Blacks Sought the Promised Land in Tulsa in 1997 and Riot on Greenwood: The Total Destruction of Black Wall Street in 2003.

In 1998, Gates became chair of the Survivors Committee of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Commission. One of Gates' goals for the committee was to collect the stories of more than 200 survivors of the Race Massacre, as well as information from their descendants. She helped identify 136 of the 200 survivors which she interviewed. Her work, including testimonies and other records, is honored at Gilcrease Museum in the Eddie Faye Gates Tulsa Race Massacre Collection.

"She was a teacher, a storyteller, a champion for her community, and an inspiration to many," says the Victory of Greenwood group on Facebook. "We can't thank you enough, Mrs. Gates. Our prayers today are with your children and family."

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