Search resumes for mass graves from 1921 Tulsa race massacre

Oklahoma

Workers and researchers dig at Oaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa, Okla., during a test excavation in the search for possible mass graves from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A team of researchers and historians are resuming test excavations of potential unmarked mass graves from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

A backhoe operator began slowly moving dirt Monday at Tulsa’s Oaklawn Cemetery. Oklahoma State Archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck says researchers plan to open up a 6-by-3-meter excavation area where ground scans determined there was an anomaly consistent with mass graves.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum says they hope to identify victims and notify their descendants.

On May 31 and June 1 in 1921, white residents looted and burned Tulsa’s black Greenwood district to the ground, killing as many as 300 people. 

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