A 107-year-old survivor of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre testified Wednesday to Congress about her memories of the event, NPR reported.
Viola Fletcher was 7 years old when a white mob killed about 300 black people on May 31, 1921, according to NPR. (RELATED: ‘Burn The Whole City Down’: BLM Protesters At Floyd Memorial Compare Police Shootings To ‘A Genocide’)
In 1921, police arrested black teenager Dick Rowland for allegedly sexually assaulting a young white elevator operator named Sarah Page, according to History.com. Page screamed, Rowland fled the scene and police arrested him the next day, according to the website. White residents then mobbed the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as “Black Wall Street,” which went up in flames, according to the U.S. Archives. Over a thousand homes were burned during the riot, while 215 others were looted, according to History.com.
“I will never forget the violence of the white mob when we left our home,” Fletcher said. “I still see black men being shot, black bodies lying in the street. I still smell smoke and see fire. I still see black businesses being burned. I still hear airplanes flying overhead. I hear the screams. I have lived through the massacre every day. Our country may forget this history, but I cannot.”
Fletcher said she never made much money and can barely afford her everyday needs. She said she has served white families and never seen justice. “I pray one day I will,” she added. She asked her country to acknowledge what happened to her.
“I am 107 years old and I have never … seen justice. I pray that one day I will. I have been blessed with a long life and have seen the best and the worst of this country. I think about the terror inflicted upon black people in this country every day.”