Race massacre survivor turns 109; hopes for reparations continue
One of the last two known 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre survivors is celebrating a birthday.
When Lessie Benningfield Randle was just six years old, she escaped the racist massacre that left as many as 300 Black people dead and razed the area known as Black Wall Street.
Now, at 109, Randle says old age can be unpredictable.
“When you’re not ill, it feels about like when you were 50. If you have been kind of ill like I have been, sometimes it feels like 150,” Randle said.
Randle’s grandsons say she still likes to cook and play dominoes.
Randle is involved in a case seeking reparations from the government for doing things like supplying weapons for the massacre. The complaint has reached Oklahoma’s Supreme Court after being dismissed by Tulsa District Judge Caroline Wall.
State Rep. Regina Goodwin says the city of Tulsa and other entities are stalling, hoping the case will go away with the deaths of the plaintiffs.
“What should happen is they should have their day in court, what should happen is they should have reparations, and restitution, and reclamation. That’s what should happen. It appears there are some that are trying to wait out Ms. Randle and Ms. Fletcher,” said Goodwin.