“It’s tragic to die. It’s even more tragic to die and no one knows where your remains are,” said African Ancestral Society Chief Amusan.
Families of victims from the 1921 Race Massacre have gone years without proper burials.
It’s something that Chief Amusan said can’t continue anymore.
“People who we know about. We heard their names, but there was no way to get justice during those time periods, due to Jim Crow laws. So it’s an opportunity for us to give honor to those whose names have been forgotten,” Amusan said.
Saturday, members of the Greenwood community looked to honor those who died, in a different way by collecting soil in places believed to be where people were killed.
The Equal Justice Initiative has done research, trying to recover stories about people who died or were never seen again after the massacre.
“After the destruction of 1921, so this was like a territory that had been demolished, burned down, and there was no way to come back to this area,” Amusan said
Amusan tells me, many left their community during the time of destruction, including Carrie Diamond, the one being honored Saturday.
"They took off and had to run for their lives. So we're assuming it's most likely that Carrie Diamond lost her life during the massacre trying to flee," Amusan said
One by one, each person in attendance grabbed a piece of soil and placed it in a jar, marked with Diamond's name.
Once the jar was filled, they passed the soil around as a sign of remembrance.
Diamond’s soil will stay inside Vernon AME Church, where they will begin soil collection for others who were victims of the race massacre
The group will go throughout the entire Greenwood District with the goal to make sure victims' names won't be forgotten.