Tulsa Race Massacre Victims Cemetery Search Concludes With Additional Graves Found [Update]


Explore Our Galleries

A man stands in front of the Djingareyber mosque on February 4, 2016 in Timbuktu, central Mali. 
Mali's fabled city of Timbuktu on February 4 celebrated the recovery of its historic mausoleums, destroyed during an Islamist takeover of northern Mali in 2012 and rebuilt thanks to UN cultural agency UNESCO.
African Peoples Before Captivity
Shackles from Slave Ship Henrietta Marie
Kidnapped: The Middle Passage
Enslaved family picking cotton
Nearly Three Centuries Of Enslavement
Image of the first black members of Congress
Reconstruction: A Brief Glimpse of Freedom
The Lynching of Laura Nelson_May_1911 200x200
One Hundred Years of Jim Crow
Civil Rights protest in Alabama
I Am Somebody! The Struggle for Justice
Black Lives Matter movement
NOW: Free At Last?
#15-Beitler photo best TF reduced size
Memorial to the Victims of Lynching
hands raised black background
The Freedom-Lovers’ Roll Call Wall
Frozen custard in Milwaukee's Bronzeville
Special Exhibits
Dr. James Cameron
Portraiture of Resistance

Breaking News!

Today's news and culture by Black and other reporters in the Black and mainstream media.

Ways to Support ABHM?

By Murjani Rawls, The Root

1921 Graves Public Oversight Committee member Brenda Alford, center, hugs state archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck, left, and forensic anthropologist Phoebe Stubblefield at Oaklawn Cemetery searching on Wednesday. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)

Oklahoma officials have announced they have found 17 additional unmarked graves at an excavation site in the Oaklawn Cemetery, according to CNN. This is a part of Tulsa’s ongoing effort to find the unidentified victims of 1921’s Tulsa Race massacre.

Beginning in 2018, the city of Tulsa started an extensive investigation into the massacre, which included searching for mass graves. In 1921 a violent white mob specifically targeted Tulsa’s Greenwood district, nicknamed “Black Wall Street.” More than 1,000 homes were burned to the ground and looted. While it’s estimated 300 hundred people were killed, only 26 death certificates were issued for the Black victims of the massacre, as noted by the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. Twenty-one of them were reportedly buried in Oaklawn Cemetery.

Last year, an excavation effort at the cemetery resulted in 19 exhumations. Some of those bodies were later reburied. The additional excavation, which occurred on October 26th, resulted in finding 16 burials exposed and one partially exposed, according to Oklahoma State Archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck.

In a final effort at the site on Friday, Nov. 18th, 32 additional caskets were discovered, and eight sets of remains were exhumed, as noted by the Huffington Post. Two sets of the 66 remains found in the past two years have been confirmed to have gunshot wounds. However, none have been confirmed to be victims of the massacre as of yet.

Right now, the hand excavations around the coffins are happening to determine candidates for exhumation and examination in a forensics lab. A forensics team is also on hand to take DNA samples.

Read about the excavation updates.

The Tulsa race massacre has gained attention in recent years.

More breaking news.

Comments Are Welcome

Note: We moderate submissions in order to create a space for meaningful dialogue, a space where museum visitors – adults and youth –– can exchange informed, thoughtful, and relevant comments that add value to our exhibits.

Racial slurs, personal attacks, obscenity, profanity, and SHOUTING do not meet the above standard. Such comments are posted in the exhibit Hateful Speech. Commercial promotions, impersonations, and incoherent comments likewise fail to meet our goals, so will not be posted. Submissions longer than 120 words will be shortened.

See our full Comments Policy here.

Leave a Comment