Investigators are searching for victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and in the midst of searching have found one set of remains and possibly another.
One of the most heinous crimes inflicted upon the Black American community was the Black Wall Street domestic terrorist massacre that took place in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Black Wall Street was a vibrant community filled with Black-owned and operated businesses including banks, libraries, grocery stores and more.
On May 31 through June 1, 1921, white residents who were armed by Oklahoma City officials rampaged through the community pillaging, raping and destroying the area. More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals and as many as 6,000 Black people were locked up in facilities for several days. Thirty-six people were recorded as dead, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Many of those Black bodies were never recovered, but researchers say they may have found more than one of those remains. “We do have one confirmed individual and the possibility of a second” body found, Oklahoma state archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck said. “We are still in the process of analyzing those remains to the best of our ability… We don’t have a whole lot of details,” Stackelbeck said. She added that the confirmed human remains were found a little more than 3 feet underground in an area known as the “Original 18.” The area is where funeral home records show massacre victims are buried, CBS News reports.
The remains were found in a wooden coffin but Stackelbeck said she is not sure if the remains belonged to a person who died in the domestic terrorist attack. For the time being, the remains will be examined and then placed back in the coffin and buried. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum initiated the search for Tulsa victims back in 2018 and later created a budget of $100,000 to fund the search.