New York donors give $1M to Three Tulsa Race Massacre survivors

Business for Good co-founders say Viola Ford Fletcher, Lessie Benningfield Randle and will share the donation.

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The three known living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre are receiving a $1 million donation from a New York philanthropic organization.

Business for Good co-founders Ed and Lisa Mitzen say 108-year-old Viola Ford Fletcher, 107-year-old Lessie Benningfield Randle and 101-year-old Hughes Van Ellis will share the donation.

Ed Mitzen, a businessman and philanthropist, told reporters in Tulsa that he was prompted to make the donation after reading news reports about the massacre.

Business for Good did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment Tuesday.

Tulsa Race Massacre survivors Lessie Benningfield Randle, Viola Fletcher and Hughes Van Ellis (seated from left) will split a $1 million donation from the Business for Good foundation. (File photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Fletcher, Randle and Ellis previously received $100,000 each from the Tulsa-based non-profit The Justice for Greenwood Foundation.

A Tulsa judge earlier this month rejected a request to dismiss the lawsuit.

The three and descendants of victims are currently suing the City of Tulsa and other entities for reparations for the destruction and lost wealth as a result of the massacre in which a white mob attacked and killed hundreds of Black residents. The mob destroyed what had been the nation’s most prosperous Black business district in the northeastern Oklahoma city.

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