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Mass Grave Search Set to Pick Back Up, Slowly

Posted at 9:12 PM, Jul 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-12 22:12:49-04

The search for mass graves created after the 1921 Race Massacre will pick back up on Monday, July 13th.

Efforts to find the graves that historians say, were used to discard hundreds of black citizens during the race massacre on Tulsa's Black Wall Street, was halted due to the pandemic.

Sherry Lacky is part of the Mass Grave Search Overseeing Committee tells us, "it’s another piece to the puzzle and it will bring closure and understanding to the atrocities that happened here”

Lacky had become more hopeful as each day archaeologists got closer to answers through proof, but getting to that proof was halted amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scott Hammerstedt is a Senior Researcher with the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey says, "the rest of the project is going to be test excavations to see if the anomaly we found before is in fact a grave. It’s not going to be very pleasant, we have fewer researching that are going to be there any one day rather than all 15 of us being there there will be maybe 5 one day and 7 another and we will rotate out”

Hammerstedt says that having fewer people researching will undoubtedly slow things down.

Both Hammerstedt and Lacky agree that after 99 years a bit more time is worth is when the finish line is near.

We’ve waited this long so we’ll just need to wait a little bit longer." Lacky says, "Life goes on and the history still needs to be told”

Due to COVID-19 safety protocol, the city is looking into the possibility of streaming the small digs, posting pictures of the work, and the media briefings on Facebook.

Stay with us as we bring you the latest updates on the 1921 Race Massacre mass grave search.

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