The “Remember and Rise” event that was set to commemorate the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre was canceled after a dispute over payments to survivors.
According to NBC News, the event was set to mark the 100th anniversary of the destruction of Black Wall Street and was headlined by John Legend and Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams.
The event was canceled after lawyers that represented the survivors and descendants agreed to $100,000 each and a $2 million seed gift to a reparations coalition fund, state Sen. Kevin Matthews, chairman of the commission, said in a Friday press conference.
At the last minute, the numbers switched to $1 million for each and $50 million for the fund.
“We could not respond to those demands,” he said. “I absolutely want the survivors, the descendants and others that were affected to be financially and emotionally supported, however this is not the way, no matter how hard we try.”
“Due to unexpected circumstances with entertainers and speakers, the Centennial Commission is unable to fulfill our high expectations,” the commission stated. “We have hopes to reschedule later in this 100th commemorative year. We apologize for the disappointment and any inconvenience caused to ticket holders.”
“The work to honor our neighbors killed in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and to build a better city moving forward is bigger than one event on a single night,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement. “More than any disappointment over this cancellation, I feel profound gratitude for all the people working so hard to honor the lives lost and the work to be done.”
May 31 will mark 100 years since a white mob looted, burned, and murdered the Black oasis, known as the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa.