Three survivors of one of the worst racial terror attacks in U.S. history testified to Congress Wednesday in favor of reparations, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre. Over two days, beginning on May 31, 1921, racist white mobs set fire to homes, businesses and churches in Greenwood, a thriving African American business district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as “Black Wall Street.” One-hundred-seven-year-old Viola Fletcher is the oldest living survivor.
Viola Fletcher: “I will never forget the violence of the white mob when we left our home. I still see Black men being shot, Black bodies lying in the street. I still smell smoke and see fire. I still see Black businesses being burned. I still hear airplanes flying overhead. I hear the screams. I have lived through the massacre every day. Our country may forget this history, but I cannot. I will not. And other survivors do not. And our descendants do not.”