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Sunrise vigil at OSU-Tulsa commemorates 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Ellis Walker Woods Memorial at sunrise
Posted at 7:42 AM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 09:32:07-04

TULSA, Okla. — OSU-Tulsa is commemorating the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre with a sunrise vigil on June 1 at the Ellis Walker Woods Memorial.

The deadly massacre happened on May 31 and June 1, when a white mob attacked and destroyed Tulsa's prosperous Black Greenwood District. 2021 marks 100 years since the event occurred.

“5:08 – A Sunrise Vigil” marks the exact time on the morning of June 1 when witnesses recount hearing a train whistle or similar sound, which was interpreted as a signal for the full invasion of the Greenwood District to begin.

The vigil was open to all OSU students, staff, and faculty, as well as the public. Those who chose to attend heard brief remarks and statements from survivors then had space to share their thoughts or remain in silent contemplation and remembrance.

The OSU-Tulsa campus is located on parts of the more than 35 blocks of the Greenwood District that was destroyed during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. It is estimated that up to 300 lives were lost during the massacre, with thousands more injured and left homeless.

The Ellis Walker Woods Memorial is dedicated to the first principal of Booker T. Washington High School, who provided assistance and shelter to survivors at the school.

Parking is free on campus and available in Lot A or B. The vigil, part of 100 Points of Truth and Transformation, will also be live-streamed on OSU-Tulsa's Facebook page.


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