The Oklahoma Eagle Newswire
Senator Kevin Matthews will hold a press conference on Thursday, November 29 at 10:00 a.m. at the Greenwood Cultural Center (322 North Greenwood) in Tulsa to announce the official name change of the 1921 Race Riot Commission to the 1921 Race Massacre Commission.
“We had already planned to formally change the name of the 1921 Race Riot Commission to the 1921 Race Massacre Commission this week”, said Sen. Matthews, Chair of the Commission. “It was ironic that just last week, we lost and acknowledged the life and legacy of the last known survivor of this tragedy, Dr. Olivia Hooker who was the first African American woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard and lived to be 103.”
One of Dr. Hooker’s lifelong goals as she testified on Capitol Hill in 2005 was to fight for reparations and for the tragedy she survived as a 6 year old to be called a massacre instead of a riot.
“The fact that it was called a riot was one of the reasons given for turning down insurance claims, and has been offensive to many in the affected area for 97 years. After being made aware of the significance of the term, the Commission has decided to officially change its name to the 1921 Race Massacre Commission,” said Matthews. “Although the dialogue about the reasons and effects of the terms riot vs. massacre are very important and encouraged, the feelings and interpretation of those who experienced this devastation as well as current area residents and historical scholars have led us to more appropriately change the name to the 1921 Race Massacre Commission.”