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Healing Starts With Justice

I will not watch events commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the destruction of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I will not retraumatize myself. I already know the story.

To receive my certification to conduct social and behavioral research, I was required to take and pass a short, but important, course on how to ethically research human behavior. In the past, human subjects and research participants were treated harshly, inhumanely, unethically, and criminally. The institutional review board (IRB) process exists to prevent subjecting people to the harmful treatments of the past. Each research proposal is vigorously reviewed, by the board, to ensure that various protocols are followed to minimize harm and maximize the potential to gather valuable information about people’s lives. Based on my background, I find it troubling to subject the survivors of the Race Riot to an undue amount of media coverage, unless it is minimized to a few on-screen moments.

This is not just a story…this was a personal experience. A part of the healing and reconciliation for the survivors and descendants of those who lost their lives and property, is to seek damages in court for their losses. The survivors and descendants are entitled to monetary compensation to rebuild their lives and seek healing for their collective trauma. If these stories do not include that piece of the story, it does a tremendous disservice to the human beings whose lives, hearts, and memories are connected to the that event.

We, the descendants of slavery, continue to wait for justice in the form of reparations. The Tulsa Race Riot and Massacre is one of countless incidents that have harmed and traumatized Black people in America. I know about the story, where is the justice?


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