Denver sculptor working on 1921 Tulsa race riot memorial

Monday, September 25th 2006, 6:07 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- A Denver sculptor says he hopes one of his current projects, a memorial to the victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, will help focus attention on a story that is mostly unknown outside of Oklahoma.

Ed Dwight's 27-foot-tall bronze sculpture is nearly finished. It will be known as the "John Hope Franklin Greenwood Memorial of Reconciliation" and will be located on land just below an elevated portion of I-244 northeast of downtown Tulsa.

Franklin is a former Tulsa resident and Duke University historian whose research produced formerly unknown details of the riot, which lasted two days, destroyed 35 blocks of the prosperous Greenwood neighborhood and resulted in at least 38 fatalities, although the death toll likely was higher.

The riot had almost faded into history before a 75th anniversary memorial service was held in 1996. That resulted in a state investigation, calls for reparations and up to $5-million in public funding for the memorial.