Why build a memorial?
Tulsa, OK has a legacy of racial terror that we've been silent about for too long and it's time to end the silence. In May of 2021, the Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition will open the City’s first comprehensive memorial dedicated to the hundreds of African-American victims of the Tulsa Massacre of 1921.
Where will the memorial be located?
The Memorial will be located on the grounds of the Historic Vernon AME Church on the Southside of its building. The Memorial will sit in the very heart of the Historic Greenwood Business District on the sacred land that once housed the Stratford Hotel.
How will the memorial be designed and created?
The Memorial will pay homage to the victims who were murdered, hung, beat, shot, stabbed, burned, thrown into mass graves, dumped in the river and left to be forgotten. Our beloved ancestors never received a proper burial and have yet to be acknowledged or memorialized in an official capacity. Their blood still speaks, crying out from the soil saying "Remember Me".
The plan has a multigenerational and community orientation as can be seen in the accompanying images. The project will use art consisting of 3D murals, lifesize bronze sculptures, and virtual reality to tell not only the story of the Massacre, but educate the world, our city, and most importantly our children about the spirit that the community of Greenwood once possessed.
The Memorial will have a park like feel including trees, flower gardens, stoned pathways, lights, sitting areas for reflection and more. One of the highlights of the Memorial will include a monument donated by the Equal Justice Initiative which will list the names of the victims lost at the hands of the Massacre. This monument will be the epicenter of the Memorial. It will be suspended from a large Gazebo structure with built in benches for people to sit, kneel, pray or simply acknowledge and say the victim's name. We realize that truth is the pathway to healing and reconciliation. Another highlight will be a brick wall that will surround the perimeter of the Memorial.
The brick wall will symbolize the resilience, strength, and spirit that allowed our ancestors to rebuild their community within four years after the Massacre with the help of neighboring Black townships in Oklahoma.
Descendants of survivors, North Tulsa residents, Black owned businesses, churches of the Greenwood district, and citizens from across the nation will help build the memorial's wall brick by brick and be allowed to engrave their name on a brick. Other components of our community Remembrance Project will include the erection of a historical marker on the street corner south of Vernon which has been approved by the City of Tulsa, soil collection ceremonies, and an essay writing contest for Tulsa Public high school students
What is the budget and timeline?
The total cost of the Memorial will be $3,000,000.00. A grassroots fundraiser will launch May 2020 in a community effort to raise the first 1,000,000.00. The fundraiser will be titled “10,000 Bricks Campaign” where the coalition will solicit 10,000 individuals or organizations to purchase either a $100.00 or $300.00 brick to help build the wall that will surround the memorial. Each community member who purchases a brick will have an opportunity to engrave their name or a quote to remember Greenwood.
The Memorial is expected to be completed by April 2021 and ready for grand opening by the centennial anniversary of the massacre in May of 2021.