Judge rules lawsuit seeking reparations for Tulsa Race Massacre can proceed

An Oklahoma judge on Monday ruled in favor of a lawsuit seeking restitution for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, a deadly attack by a White mob against Black residents that also destroyed businesses and homes.

Survivors, including three who are more than 100 years old, and descendants of the event are seeking reparations under the state’s public nuisance law.

Their lawsuit says that racial and economic disparities still exist because of the displacement of residents and the loss of businesses that were never compensated by the city or insurance companies.

Tulsa County District Judge Caroline Wall ruled against a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons filed in 2020.

“We want them to see justice in their lifetime,” Mr. Solomon-Simmons said. “I’ve seen so many survivors die in my 20-plus years working on this issue. I just don’t want to see the last three die without justice. That’s why time is of the essence.”

The suit does not specify how much money it is seeking in damages. It does state that it wants a hospital established in north Tulsa, a new mental health and education program, and a victim compensation fund.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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