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Okla. protesters confused on reburial ceremony linked to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre graves investigation

TULSA, OKLAHOMA – JUNE 19: The Oaklawn Cemetery is seen on June 19, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 9:08 AM PT – Sunday, August 1, 2021

Protesters gathered at a cemetery linked to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre graves investigation. Crowds gathered on Friday at the Oaklawn Cemetery in Oklahoma to criticize the reburial of remains that were pulled from the ground earlier this year.

This included 19 bodies, which is part of a city effort to find unmarked burials from the violent event that happened over 100 years ago. Protesters claimed the reburial didn’t see a proper funeral ceremony as it was closed to the public.

“It’s disgusting and disrespectful that these are our family members and we are outside of the gate and they are inside of the gate where they are,” said a descendant of a massacre victim, Celi Butler-Davis. “We don’t care what all the big time city officials say, it’s all about our loved ones.”

The Rev. Robert Turner of Vernon A.M.E. Church prays at Oaklawn Cemetery after learning that scientists found a mass grave during an excavation in the search for victims from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. (Bethany Mollenkof/National Geographic)

The city said there are two more sites they are looking at for further information and more possible massacre victim remains.

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