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Oklahoma Congressional Delegation Introduces Resolution Highlighting Important History of Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial

May 26, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) joined the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation this week in the introduction of a bicameral resolution to accurately tell the history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and recognize Oklahoma’s historically Black towns. 

In the U.S. House of Representatives, it was introduced by Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01) and cosponsored by Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03), Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) and Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (OK-05). Senator James Lankford led introduction of the resolution in the U.S. Senate with Senator Jim Inhofe. 

"This is our moment as a state to honor and recognize the lives lost, the survivors, and the continued growth of Greenwood on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre," said Lankford. "Oklahomans want the nation to know the accurate history of events 100 years ago, the growing economic development in the Greenwood District, and the continued work toward reconciliation. The importance of this work will grow after the anniversary and I look forward to continuing to walk with my many friends in Greenwood as well as tell the story of tragedy to triumph."

"The Tulsa Race Massacre is an important piece of our history, and it’s important to own that," said Hern. "The destruction of Black Wall Street devastated economic opportunities for generations of Tulsa’s Black families. Our resolution honors the loss of those who were killed 100 years ago and acknowledges this painful memory in our city’s history as the horrific and race-motivated attack it was. 100 years later, we still have a long way to go. The centennial is an opportunity to remember, and this resolution helps us tell the world the accurate story of what happened on our streets in 1921 and how it shaped our city in the years after. As we move forward past this week’s centennial, we continue to strive for reconciliation. I’m proud of the recent investments in Greenwood to bring back Black Wall Street, and I hope to see it continue to grow and thrive at the heart of Tulsa."

"Next week is a somber anniversary – 100 years since the Tulsa Massacre," said Inhofe. "Before 1921, Greenwood district, also known as Black Wall Street, was a vibrant, thriving prosperous Black community. But then, the evening of May 31 into the early morning of June 1, 1921 – there was a horrific massacre where hundreds of Black Tulsans were murdered and thousands were made homeless overnight. It was truly terrible and horrific. That’s why it is important to come together to honor the victims and their families and share their stories today and with future generations. I’m honored to co-sponsor Sen. Lankford’s resolution today to remember this anniversary. Together, we can all work to lift up the story of Black Wall Street and use this anniversary to remember, reflect and work—as we do every day—towards reconciliation."

"More than a century ago, Tulsa’s Greenwood District was defined by opportunity and prosperity for Tulsa’s Black community. As we approach the centennial, I’m honored to join Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation in commemorating the somber anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre," said Lucas. "As Oklahomans and others from across the United States join efforts to amplify the voices of Black Tulsans and reconcile with the families who were devastatingly impacted, it’s incredibly important that we, as a community, continue to reflect and learn from history’s tragic events. Our efforts and healing will continue long after the 100th anniversary and I look forward to witnessing our community’s growth for years to come."

"A century since the Tulsa Race Massacre, we recall with great sadness the series of events and incidents that led to one of the worst tragedies in American history," said Cole. "We must never forget what happened over the course of those dark days 100 years ago. Indeed, we must always remember the historical significance of what occurred to ensure something like it never happens again. I am proud to join in solidarity with Oklahoma's entire congressional to mark this centennial and to recognize our state's historically Black towns."

"The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre was the worst act of racial violence our country has ever seen," said Mullin. "On the 100th anniversary of this solemn occasion, it is imperative we come together and remember what happened that day. As Oklahomans, we will continue to grow and move forward."

"The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre was one of the darkest moments in our state and our nation’s history," said Bice. "There is still much work to be done, in Tulsa, the state of Oklahoma, and nationwide, to heal our community, educate the public about the horrific events of the past, and ensure such a tragedy never occurs again. While significant progress has been made, this resolution allows us as Oklahomans to not only recognize the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, but to also ensure that victims and survivors’ stories are known to future generations of Oklahomans and Americans."