Viola Ford Fletcher, Oldest Living Tulsa Race Massacre Victim, Publishes Memoir
Viola Ford Fletcher, the oldest living survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre, has published a memoir recounting her experiences during the tragic event. The memoir, titled “Don’t Let Them Bury My Story,” serves as a call to action for readers to pursue truth, justice, and reconciliation. Fletcher, now 109 years old, hopes to preserve the narrative of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which she witnessed as a seven-year-old child. The book is set to be released by Mocha Media Inc. on Tuesday, July 4, and will be widely available for purchase starting August 15.
Pursuit of Justice and Accountability
Despite her age, Viola Ford Fletcher has remained active in seeking justice and accountability for the Tulsa Race Massacre. In recent years, she has traveled internationally, testified before Congress, and supported a lawsuit for reparations. She has dedicated herself to shedding light on the massacre that destroyed Tulsa’s original “Black Wall Street” and the thriving Black community of Greenwood.
A Tragic Past and Its Long-lasting Effects
The memoir offers a firsthand account of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, revealing graphic details of the violence and destruction inflicted upon the Black community. Fletcher reflects on the questions that have lingered for decades, questioning how such a violent and racist mob was allowed to wreak havoc and kill innocent Black individuals, demolishing an entire community in the process. She highlights the need for acknowledgment from mainstream historians and political leaders, emphasizing that the victims were deceived by a lie.
The Triggers and Aftermath
The tensions between Tulsa’s Black and white residents escalated when the white-owned Tulsa Tribune published a sensationalized news report of an alleged assault by a Black shoeshine on a white elevator operator. The arrest of the shoeshine led to a gathering of a Black militia at a local jail to protect him from a potential lynch mob. The situation spiraled into a violent clash between Black and white residents, resulting in an 18-hour scorched-earth campaign against Greenwood. The devastating event claimed numerous lives, destroyed hundreds of businesses, and displaced thousands of Black residents.
A Lifelong Pursuit of Justice
Viola Ford Fletcher’s memoir serves as a testament to her resilience and unwavering commitment to justice. Despite the passage of time, Fletcher’s pursuit of truth, accountability, and reconciliation remains steadfast. She hopes that her memoir will inspire readers to join her in the fight for justice and prevent such atrocities from happening again. As the oldest living survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre, Fletcher’s story is a powerful reminder of the enduring impact of historical events and the importance of remembering and acknowledging them.
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