(AP) – Search for bodies of victims 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Officials said 21 more coffins were found in unmarked graves in the city’s Oak Lawn Cemetery.
Oklahoma archaeologist Callie Stackelbeck said 17 adult-sized graves were found on Friday and Saturday. In addition, the city announced on Tuesday that a total of four graves, two adult-sized and two child-sized, had been found.
The coffin, and the remains, are examined to see if they match a 1921 report that the victim was a man buried in a plain coffin.
“This will be part of the process of distinguishing which of these individuals will be continued with respect to exhumation and which will actually be left alone,” Stackelbeck said in a video statement.
Manual work was still in progress. A city statement did not specify the type of coffin or the gender of the victim.
Violent white mobs targeted blacks during a massacre that burned more than 1,000 homes, looted hundreds, and destroyed the downtown area known as Black Wall Street. Historians estimate the death toll between 75 and 300.
Rumors of mass unmarked graves persisted for decades, but previous searches turned up no bodies.
The current search, which began in 2020 in an area identified by ground-penetrating radar as possibly containing coffins, resumed last year and found about three dozen coffins.
Fourteen sets of remains unearthed from these coffins were selected for DNA testing, two of which had enough DNA to begin sequencing and building a family tree.
Current investigations include re-excavating the remaining 12 of the cemetery and transferring them to a lab in order to collect more usable DNA in order to finally identify them. .
All remains were to be reburied, at least temporarily, in Oak Lawn, where previous reburials were closed to the public, said they were descendants of massacre victims and should have been allowed to attend. It has attracted protests from about 20 people.
The genocide wiped out the wealth of generations and the victims were never compensated, pending litigation We seek reparations for the three remaining known survivors. They are over 100 years old now.
https://www.mystateline.com/news/21-new-coffins-found-in-search-for-tulsa-massacre-victims/ 21 New Caskets Found Searching for Tulsa Massacre Victims