The 1921 Tusla Race Massacre survivors were granted the right to sue for reparations under the state’s nuisance lawsuits.
While the three survivors, Lessie Benningfield “Mother” Randle, 106, Viola ‘Mother” Flecther, 107, and Hughes Van Ellis, Sr., were granted to move forward with their lawsuits, Tusla County District Judge Caroline Wall denied the claims for reparations from six descendants of the Black Greenwood residents, as BET reports.
Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons said, “Bottom line is that survivors are in, we have the opportunity to prove the massacre itself… constitutes a nuisance.”
On May 31, 1921, the destruction of “Black Wall Street” occurred, burning down the affluent Greenwood District. Solomon-Simmons added, “We look forward to proving our case around the massacre’s ongoing catastrophic effects and demonstrating the actions that defendants must take to repair and rebuild the Greenwood community during our clients’ lifetimes.”
The lawsuit also seeks to create the Tusla Massacre Victims Compensation Fund, as well as mental health and education programs.