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Politics Biden calls for 'day of remembrance' on 100th anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre

22:50  31 may  2021
22:50  31 may  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Tulsa massacre descendant who lost brother to police violence: 'deeply segregated city'

  Tulsa massacre descendant who lost brother to police violence: 'deeply segregated city' Century after Greenwood's destruction, my brother's death and family experience is living testimony that city's racial wounds still festering.But my great-grandmother was keeping a painful secret: The Greenwood that she knew didn’t simply fade away. It was massacred. And that revelation sent me reeling. After all, the destruction of Black Wall Street wasn’t a lesson I had learned growing up in Tulsa’s public schools. It was never mentioned. Not in a textbook or a history class or anywhere else.

President Biden issued a proclamation on Monday commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, in which a mob of white attackers killed hundreds of Black Americans and burned down several blocks of what was referred to as Black Wall Street.

a close up of a sign: Biden calls for 'day of remembrance' on 100th anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre © Getty Images Biden calls for 'day of remembrance' on 100th anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre

Biden declared Monday to be a "Day of Remembrance: 100 Years After The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre" to commemorate the horrific racist attack.

"One hundred years ago, a violent white supremacist mob raided, firebombed, and destroyed approximately 35 square blocks of the thriving Black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Families and children were murdered in cold blood," Biden said in his proclamation. "Homes, businesses, and churches were burned. In all, as many as 300 Black Americans were killed, and nearly 10,000 were left destitute and homeless."

At century mark, Tulsa Race Massacre's wounds still unhealed

  At century mark, Tulsa Race Massacre's wounds still unhealed TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Black Wall Street Market is nowhere near Black Wall Street. The original Black Wall Street vaporized a hundred years ago, when a murderous white mob laid waste to what was the nation’s most prosperous Black-owned business district and residential neighborhood. When Billie Parker set out to memorialize the name with her new development, she built it far from Tulsa's historic Greenwood neighborhood. She followed the trailThe original Black Wall Street vaporized a hundred years ago, when a murderous white mob laid waste to what was the nation’s most prosperous Black-owned business district and residential neighborhood.

"With this proclamation, I commit to the survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, including Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis, and Lessie Benningfield Randle, the descendants of victims, and to this Nation that we will never forget," Biden continued. "We honor the legacy of the Greenwood community, and of Black Wall Street, by reaffirming our commitment to advance racial justice through the whole of our government, and working to root out systemic racism from our laws, our policies, and our hearts."

"The Federal Government must reckon with and acknowledge the role that it has played in stripping wealth and opportunity from Black communities," he added.

Biden is schedule to travel to Tulsa on Tuesday to meet with survivors of the massacre and to deliver further remarks about the 100th anniversary.

Tulsa Race Massacre, 100 years later: Why it happened and why it's still relevant today

  Tulsa Race Massacre, 100 years later: Why it happened and why it's still relevant today The city's "Black Wall Street" was among the most prosperous neighborhoods in America, and a Black utopia — and then it was burned to the ground.But 100 years ago, on May 31, 1921, and into the next day, a white mob destroyed that district, in what experts call the single-most horrific incident of racial terrorism since slavery.

Viola Fletcher, 107, the oldest living survivor of the massacre, testified in front of Congress earlier in May and called for justice. Fletcher is taking legal action against Tulsa as well as the state of Oklahoma, seeking reparations for the attack.

"I will never forget the violence of the white mob when we left our home," Fletcher testified. "I still see Black men being shot, Black bodies lining the street. I still smell smoke and see fire. I still see Black businesses being burned. I still hear airplanes flying overhead. I hear the screams."

Biden to 'shine a light' on Tulsa Race Massacre with remarks, meeting with survivors .
President Joe Biden is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to mark the centennial remembrance of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The president is privately meeting with survivors, ahead of delivering remarks, in which he'll announce new actions his administration is taking to narrow the racial wealth gap between Black and white Americans.

usr: 1
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