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Hughes Van Ellis, One of the Last 3 Survivors of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Dies at 102

HeadlineOct 11, 2023

Hughes Van Ellis, one of the last remaining survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, has died at 102. As many as 300 Black people were killed when a white mob burned down what was known as “Black Wall Street,” the thriving African American neighborhood of Greenwood. The last two known survivors of the massacre are 109-year-old Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis’s sister, and 108-year-old Lessie Benningfield Randle. In 2021, all three testified before the U.S. Congress in favor of reparations. This is Hughes Van Ellis.

Hughes Van Ellis: “Because of the massacre, my family was driven out of our home. We were left with nothing. We were made refugees in our own country.”

In August, the Oklahoma Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from survivors of the massacre, whose reparations lawsuit was dismissed in July.

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