Tulsa Race Massacre Survivor Hughes Van Ellis Dies at 102
Ellis died Monday night in Denver, Colorado, according to a family statement shared by Oklahoma Rep. Regina Goodwin.
"He died waiting on justice," his grandnephew, Ike Howard, told CNN.
Ellis was just a few months old when he and his older sister, Viola Fletcher, fled Tulsa’s Greenwood District with their family as a violent White mob tore through the thriving Black community, ultimately killing hundreds of residents and reducing rows of homes and businesses to ash.
Like a myriad of other Black families, Ellis and his loved ones were forced to leave behind not only their home but a lifetime of opportunities, he told CNN earlier this year.
"I lost 102 years. I don't want nobody else to lose that," he said.
One of the country's deadliest acts of racial violence, the massacre was inflicted by a White mob that descended on the area known as "Black Wall Street" and committed arson, shootings and aerial bombings from private planes. As many as 300 people were killed and more than 1,000 homes are estimated to have been destroyed, according to the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum.
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