The Tulsa massacre in 1921, one of America’s deadliest racial riots, resulted in an estimated 300 deaths of Black people and destroyed the homes of roughly 10,000 Black residents and nearly the entire Black population in Tulsa.
Amid the Tulsa mayhem, Black men were killed and placed in piles of grave sites by white rioters, making them difficult to identify, National Geographic reported. According to an announcement made last week, it was discovered that one of the victims had multiple gunshot wounds in the head and shoulder.
However, 35 coffins were recently discovered and 20 remains are being examined by a forensic team.
The neighborhood of Greenwood, once referred to as Black Wall Street due to the Black institutes that once thrived there, is a burial ground of several dead Black men, women and children who cannot be identified.
Archeologists in the Oaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa, Okla., are searching for unmarked burial sites of victims, but for now, they have possession of bones, some of which belong to five youths and four adults.
One coffin is said to be made for an infant, but the human remains are difficult to make out.
One of the remains, originally found in October 2020 but was left in the ground until officials waited for a judge to grant permission to exhume the body, shows that a man was repeatedly shot in the head and shoulder.
Upon research, adult remains show men and women were killed in their 30s and 40s, with some experts believing women and children were killed the least compared to men, and men’s remains were placed in ordinary coffins compared to women and children having more decoratively designed coffins.
The remains were found in the “Original 18” section of the cemetery, a belief the bodies of 18 victims of the massacre were buried in unmarked graves, according to the official records for 1921, only 18 people were in unmarked graves.
“Funeral home records and other documents for 1921 show that at least 18 identified and unidentified African American massacre victims were buried in the city-owned cemetery,” Tulsa city officials have stated.