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Tulsa: Beyond The Black Smoke

“Journey with us to an American era where history still struggles to breathe, and the echoes of the past reverberate through the black smoke that engulfed the vibrant streets of Tulsa. Our special guest, Mr. Waltho Wesley, along with members of the Urban Indian Heritage Society, will discuss the socioeconomic, racial, genealogical, and cultural factors that converged, setting the stage for this devastating tragedy. Prepare to gain valuable insights and a deeper understanding of the historical context surrounding the Tulsa massacre of 1921 as we bridge the gap between the past and present, forging a path towards healing and reconciliation.

Tulsa Race Massacre investigators say they've sequenced DNA from 6 possible victims

A mural marking Black Wall Street, also called the Greenwood District, in Tulsa, Okla. The Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921 devastated Black Wall Street and claimed some 300 African American lives.

"The 1921 Tulsa massacre left upward of 300 African Americans dead and resulted in the destruction of "Black Wall Street" in the city's prosperous Greenwood enclave. Although the history of the two days of violence that began on May 31, 1921, was long unknown outside the city, in recent years Tulsa has engaged in a reckoning over the events. In 2020, the city began excavating at the Oaklawn Cemetery in hopes of locating and identifying remains of victims. "

For the six sets of remains that were examined, the research team has identified surnames of interest for potential relatives in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. If a member of the public sees their surname flagged and has a family history in Tulsa, they are being asked to contact the team at

1921 Tulsa Identification Project

Our nonprofit DNA laboratory is honored to assist the City of Tulsa in identifying victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. A number of massacre victims were buried in unmarked graves. As part of an important effort to identify victims, the City exhumed a number of bodies in the summer of 2021. Before we can start the work of identification, we are asking for help from anyone with information regarding stories, records, and more. We are especially interested in those that had family members in Tulsa in 1921.

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