Rear view of truck carrying African Americans during the Tulsa, Okla. riot of 1921 by Alvin C. Krupnick Co., Tulsa, Okla

Persistence in Pursuit of Tulsa Race Massacre Justice: An Unfolding Legal Drama

Survivors’ Plea for Justice: Highlighting Enduring Socio-Economic Disparities

PR Newswire When night fell on July 7, 2023, the legal landscape surrounding the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre case changed. Judge Caroline Wall dismissed Randle v. City of Tulsa, reversing her prior stance that enabled the last three survivors to continue their public nuisance lawsuit aimed at seeking redress for the longstanding harm caused by the Massacre.

Law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel, in alliance with local civil rights attorney and founder of Justice for Greenwood, Damario Solomon-Simmons, has been championing this cause, representing the survivors against local governments, the Oklahoma National Guard, and other implicated parties. The lawsuit seeks to alleviate the continuous nuisance resulting from the Massacre, a horrific episode that saw a prosperous all-Black community in Greenwood being decimated, leading to the loss of hundreds of lives and substantial property.

Michael Swartz, co-chair of Schulte’s Litigation Group and chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, expressed profound disappointment at Judge Wall’s decision, which he described as a “travesty of justice” that undermined public trust in the judicial system. The lawsuit has sought to rectify the public nuisance of racial disparities, economic inequalities, insecurity, and trauma arising from the systematic destruction of the Black Greenwood community in 1921 and the failure to rebuild it.

Moreover, it builds on the defendants’ admissions and testimonies of living survivors to establish the current racial and economic disparities in Tulsa’s Black community as direct consequences of the 1921 race massacre. Despite the recent setback, the Schulte team led by Swartz, along with McKenzie Haynes, Associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel, and Solomon-Simmons, remains resolute in their commitment to justice for the survivors and the Greenwood community.

Though the journey towards justice appears more arduous than ever, these legal professionals continue their battle. The echoes of this legal struggle remind us of a tumultuous past and its enduring impact on the present, emphasizing the importance of addressing historical injustices for a more equitable future. As the wheels of justice turn, albeit slowly, one hopes that the enduring flame of this legal pursuit lights the way to long overdue resolution and healing.

PR Newswire. (2023, July 10). Schulte Roth & Zabel Renews Commitment to Deliver Justice for Survivors of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

For more insights into this ongoing pursuit of justice, feel free to connect with us at @ebonynsweet and join the conversation, as we stand together to understand and address these historical disparities.

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