Mother Fletcher, Oldest Living Survivor of Tulsa Race Massacre, Celebrates 110th Birthday


May 22, 2024

Someone turn on the Stevie Wonder birthday song! We have a very special birthday to celebrate!

Viola Fletcher, the oldest living survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre, turned 110 years old on May 5, 2024. “I’m real proud to be this age,” Fletcher told WHSV3. The mother of three and grandmother of six celebrated her birthday surrounded by family, friends, and neighbors with plenty of food, flowers, and music. There’s certainly a lot to celebrate for this centenarian.

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A post shared by Justice For Greenwood Foundation, Inc. (@justiceforgreenwood)


Fletcher was seven years old when a racist white mob brutally attacked and destroyed the homes, businesses, and property of Black residents in the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa. The resulting devastation and poverty are still impacting the Black community in Tulsa generations later. Mother Fletcher–along with fellow Tulsa survivor Lessie Benningfield Randle–launched a case against the city of Tulsa to receive reparations following the massacre that left 300 Black Tulsans dead, 9,000 Black residents homeless, and the Greenwood area known as Black Wall Street burned to the ground.

In 2023 at age 109, Fletcher released a book, Don’t Let Them Bury My Story, in which she details her experience growing up in Tulsa, the riots that changed the course of Black history, and her hopes for the future. She made history as the oldest woman in the world to write a memoir.

Mother Fletcher has certainly experienced her share of history-making moments. She doesn’t attribute her long life to one thing in particular; she has no secret for longevity. But she’s grateful to still be here. 


“It’s a blessing to live this long and easy to do. If I can do it, others can,” the matriarch said

Cover photo: Mother Fletcher, Oldest Living Survivor of Tulsa Race Massacre, Celebrates 110th Birthday / Photo credit: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

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