Families United By Blood, Historical Ties To Slavery, Tour Tulsa - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Families United By Blood, Historical Ties To Slavery, Tour Tulsa

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More than 90 families with historical ties to slavery are in Tulsa this weekend. More than 90 families with historical ties to slavery are in Tulsa this weekend.
Clifton Taulbert is best known for his book, "Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored." Clifton Taulbert is best known for his book, "Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored."
One stop was Reconciliation Park in the Brady Arts District. One stop was Reconciliation Park in the Brady Arts District.
The Park is dedicated to keeping the memory and lessons of the Tulsa Race Riots alive. The Park is dedicated to keeping the memory and lessons of the Tulsa Race Riots alive.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

More than 90 families with historical ties to slavery are in Tulsa this weekend. Award-winning Tulsa author Clifton Taulbert organized the reunion and planned several stops around town for his relatives.

It's a weekend of refection for these families who all share a special connection. The all have ties dating back to Saul and Adaline Peters - a young couple born into slavery in Alabama, during the 1800s.

"All of us are touched by their children," said author Clifton Taulbert.

Taulbert is best known for his book "Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored," that centers around his upbringing in the south during the racial charged 1950s. He says it's many of the themes in that book that brought his family to Tulsa.

"To encourage them to be their best, to give them a sense of history for who they are, and what is expected of them by those elders who are no longer here," Clifton said.

Taulbert says for the last three decades, the family has gone to a different location - across the country - with historical significance. Before going to the Greenwood Cultural Center, they spent the afternoon at Reconciliation Park which is dedicated to the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots.

Over a period of 18 hours, racial clashes killed hundreds of black Tulsans and left thousands more homeless.

"I think the story of the 1921 Race Riot, and the idea that we can reconcile no matter how long it takes," Taulbert said.

Cheryl Woodson from Illinois says it's not only important to learn about their own history - but the history of others who built their lives out of the ashes.

"We don't understand that there are other people who purchased this for us," she said. "We are standing on the shoulders of people who had profound faith and courage."

Jean Labarre is French. He married into the family. He wants to pass along the message to his 2-year-old daughter Camille one day.

"It's important to learn what they've lived though," Labarre said.

"Look at the past, totally understand the past, but realize we as a people have a future in front of us," said Clifton Taulbert, award-winning Tulsa author.

Right now the question the families face is where the next reunion will be held in two years. Clifton say although they don't know - the interest is a good sign their rich family history won't be forgotten.

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