TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — An Oklahoma state senator announce that there will be a news conference Thursday to officially change the name of the 1921 Race Riot Commission.
Senator Kevin Matthews says the name will be changed to the 1921 Race Massacre Commission.
“We had already planned to formally change the name of the 1921 Race Riot Commission to the 1921 Race Massacre Commission this week”, said Sen. Matthews, Chair of the Commission. “It was ironic that just last week, we lost and acknowledged the life and legacy of the last known survivor of this tragedy, Dr. Olivia Hooker who was the first African American woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard and lived to be 103.”
One of Dr. Hooker’s lifelong goals as she testified on Capitol Hill in 2005 was to fight for reparations and for the tragedy she survived as a 6-year-old to be called a massacre instead of a riot.
Between May 31 and June 1, 1921, Tulsa's Greenwood District -- the wealthiest black neighborhood in the country, often referred to as Black Wall Street -- was burned to the ground. Hundreds were injured and thousands arrested.
Officially, only a few dozen deaths were recorded, but some estimate the actual number of black fatalities was closer to 300, according to the Greenwood Cultural Center.
The news conference is set to take place on Nov. 29 at 10:00 a.m. at the Greenwood Cultural Center.