Healing the people of Tulsa after massacre 100 years ago: Part 2

Information about the Tulsa, Oklahoma, massacre of Black citizens has been kept quiet for generations. The city is now working to heal and address the incalculable generational wealth that was lost.
5:34 | 04/07/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Healing the people of Tulsa after massacre 100 years ago: Part 2
Here again, ABC's Steve osunsami. It's kind of hard to imagine that this all used to be a community where black Americans had businesses and shops a hundred years ago. I mean -- it's wild. My aunt Janie Edwards was in the dreamland theater when the massacre happened. She barely escaped. And she was so scared to come back to Tulsa for anything. Through their pain and suffering, the black families here built new homes from these ashes. And when you look at Greenwood today, it's hard to see the scars that are now 100 years old. People forget that there was a loss of life. There was injury. And there was also an economy that was destroyed. But there was also generational wealth that was stopped. Right. And not even the money, because the word reparation is taboo. And so I don't even want to say that word, because that -- that's a whole different taboo thing. But it's the core of what we're talking about, the generational wealth. Black folks at the time who went through this did not pass down the story -- For generations. They didn't talk about it. They kept that silence to live. The people who survived this massacre had to live with the very people who burned down their homes. Right. Who executed -- Absolutely. -- Members of their family. Absolutely. The white people of Tulsa helped keep this quiet. The white newspapers and white city leaders. It was entirely deliberate. And as we have unearthed archival information, the recurring theme that you see in that is shame and embarrassment. G.T. Bynum is the mayor of Tulsa today, promising to right the wrongs. He's leading the search to find the remains of black victims still hidden underneath the city. And in October, they uncovered truth. At least a dozen missing bodies in a corner of this city cemetery. This is a murder investigation. One of the most basic things any city government should offer its citizens is that if you're murdered, we will do everything we can to try and find out what happened to you. And it -- it just -- it really bothers me that in 1921, we had a city that didn't do that. The city didn't do much about the property losses, either. By some estimates, more than $200 million in today's money. And the insurers never paid these families a single penny. Knowing all of the great black economic prowess that we had here and how it's gone, you feel an emptiness. There is no compassion. There is no empathy for that sacred land. There's a strong feeling here that's it not enough to tell the stories of the survivors and their families with a new history center going up called Greenwood rising. They say this doesn't replace whole generations of wealth. Anything that's 100 years is big money, as you can see. But none of this money benefits me. And the bottom line is, I mean, if you want to go bottom line. Yeah, what is it? Then the bottom line is, my great-grandparents, who built Wall Street, they didn't get any money. My grandmother, who's in the smithsonian institute, she didn't get any money. I didn't get any money. So, 100 years? I don't want to beg anybody for anything. We're standing right where the entry doors will be. This'll be the entry. This'll be the entry. Phil Armstrong is Greenwood rising's project director. He hopes when this place opens, it might underline the need for payments to the descendants. The first exhibit to get inside greenwoo rising, you walk across railroad tracks. So, Greenwood rising is one of the initiatives? Yes, sir. In being apart of the work of researching the history, one thing that I've heard over and over again is a term, historic racial trauma. Trauma. This did not just happen to black people. It happened to all of Tulsa. And until you tell the truth, until you're honest with your past, you can't go forward. What is it you want me to not forget to tell America when we do this? This is not just ancient history. You know, something so far back across the generations that you can't feel and touch the people. It's difficult to have to have lived through that. It's hard now. Check out Steve's new podcast, "Tulsa's buried truth," available right now wherever you listen to podcasts.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"5:34","description":"Information about the Tulsa, Oklahoma, massacre of Black citizens has been kept quiet for generations. The city is now working to heal and address the incalculable generational wealth that was lost.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"76912106","title":"Healing the people of Tulsa after massacre 100 years ago: Part 2","url":"/US/video/healing-people-tulsa-massacre-100-years-ago-part-76912106"}