Race riot provisions backed
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Oct 16, 2001
1/20/13 at 8:32 AM
Tulsa's chamber of commerce endorses some parts of the legislation.
The Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce Executive Board on Monday officially
endorsed elements of legislation that addresses the city's 1921 race riot.
The legislation, passed last spring, called for economic considerations for
Tulsa's predominantly black near north side as compensation for the riot.
It also reversed the findings of a 1921 grand jury by essentially absolving blacks
of all blame for the conflagration that destroyed most of the city's black business
and residential areas and caused at least 38 deaths and probably more, historians
On Monday, the chamber's board of directors unanimously approved a recommendation
from the executive committee to facilitate implementation of three provisions of the
legislation: the memorial design committee, a
Greenwood Redevelopment Authority and a scholarship trust fund.
Monday's resolution also called for the chamber to lead an effort to ensure the
Tulsa riot is included in Oklahoma history curricula and to monitor progress of the
Chamber Chairman John Gaberino said the group should not be the driving force
behind the initiatives but should lend its support to them.
"On the matter of the memorial, for instance, we're not going to try to tell
anyone where it should be or how much it should cost," said Gaberino.
The Legislature established a committee to find a location for a riot memorial and
initiate a design competition. Chairman Julius Pegues said last week the committee was
nearing a decision on a site.
The resolution said the chamber should be involved by "participating on the
committee, advocating for allocation of public funds and supporting efforts to raise
Monday's action did not address a more controversial issue, individual
compensation. More than 100 survivors of the riot have been identified by a state commission that they receive
ages. Black legislators initiated a fund for that purpose after Gaberino told them
last spring that he planned to press for a resolution of the reparations question.
More recently, however, Gaberino has said individual compensation is not something
with which the chamber should involve itself.
Randy Krehbiel, World staff writer, can be reached at 581-8365 or via e-mail at