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Ghana welcomes survivors of 1921 Tulsa race massacre

Tulsa race massacre survivor Lessie Benningfield Randle (R) listens as US President Joe Biden speaks during a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre   -  
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MANDEL NGAN/AFP or licensors


Ghana welcomed survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre Viola Ford Fletcher who is 107 years old and her brother Hughes Van Ellis, 100 years old.

The two are the last known living survivors of the 1921 racist massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This is the first time they step on African soil for a tour in Ghana. The visit is part of a "homecoming" campaign organized by the social media platform Our Black Truth.

"I think this one of the biggest historic African diasporas that has come back to us. When the president made the announcement on Beyond the Return, 2018 in DC and celebrating the Beyond the Return in 2019, we never thought that one of our siblings who was taken away generation from that, 107 years old and have the passion and interest to visit Ghana. Not only by herself but also bringing along the younger brother along who is 100 years old," Nadia Adongo Musah, deputy director of Diaspora Office, Office of the President said.

On May 31, 1921, a group of Black men went to the Tulsa courthouse to defend a young African American man accused of assaulting a white woman. They found themselves facing a mob of hundreds of furious white people.

Tensions spiked and shots were fired, and the African Americans retreated to their neighborhood, Greenwood.

The next day, at dawn, white men looted and burned the neighborhood, at the time so prosperous it was called Black Wall Street.

In 2001, a commission created to study the tragedy concluded that Tulsa authorities themselves had armed some of the white rioters.

Historians say that as many as 300 African American residents lost their lives, and nearly 10,000 people were left homeless in the 1921 incident that drew the white against the black.