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Tulsa Race Riots

Related Practice Areas: Civil and Human Rights

Alexander v. Governor of Oklahoma (Tulsa Race Riots), No. 02-cv-133 (Ok.). Hausfeld lawyers, as part of team of lawyers organized by Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School, represented the survivors of the nation’s worst race riot. 

On the night of May 31, 1921 through the morning of June 1, 1921, the African-American district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, then known as the “Black Wall Street,” was invaded and burned to the ground by a white mob, with the participation of City and State authorities. As many as 300 African Americans were killed, African-American homes and businesses burned to the ground, and the residents who were not killed or did not escape were rounded up and confined in detention centers.

The survivors brought suit and asked the State and City to include information about the Riot in history classes, for educational scholarships for children of survivors, and a memorial. Michael Hausfeld’s efforts were recently highlighted in the documentary film, Before They Die.