President Biden to visit Oklahoma on anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre

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TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – White House officials say President Joe Biden will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre on Tuesday, June 1.

On May 31 and June 1 of 1921, the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma was burned down as a white mob attacked the community after a black man was accused of assaulting a white woman.

In this 1921 image provided by the Library of Congress, smoke billows over Tulsa, Okla. For decades, when it was discussed at all, the killing of hundreds of people in a prosperous black business district in 1921 was referred to as the Tulsa race riot. Under new standards developed by teachers for approaching the topic, students are encouraged to consider the differences between labeling it a “massacre” instead of a “riot,” as it is still commemorated in state laws. (Alvin C. Krupnick Co./Library of Congress via AP)
In this 1921 image provided by the Library of Congress, smoke billows over Tulsa, Okla. For decades, when it was discussed at all, the killing of hundreds of people in a prosperous black business district in 1921 was referred to as the Tulsa race riot. Under new standards developed by teachers for approaching the topic, students are encouraged to consider the differences between labeling it a “massacre” instead of a “riot,” as it is still commemorated in state laws. (Alvin C. Krupnick Co./Library of Congress via AP)

The Greenwood District was once called the “Black Wall Street,” a 35-block radius in the segregated community that was thriving with hundreds of businesses.

White residents burned down homes and businesses, killing hundreds of black residents and injuring 800 others.

Despite it being one of the worst instances of racial violence in the United States, the massacre was mostly swept under the rug.

Even though it’s been nearly 100 years since the attack, leaders say the community never fully recovered.

Businesses were never able to rebuild, and innocent families were not compensated for the losses caused by the mob.

Tulsa Race Massacre
Tulsa Race Massacre. Courtesy: Oklahoma Historical Society

Although there are estimates regarding the casualties that occurred during the attack, officials have been working for more than a year to find all of the victims.

Crews have been excavating Tulsa cemeteries in search of unmarked graves that may contain the remains of the massacre victims.

In this July 14, 2020, file photo, workers climb out of the excavation site as work continues on a potential unmarked mass grave from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, at Oaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)
In this July 14, 2020, file photo, workers climb out of the excavation site as work continues on a potential unmarked mass grave from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, at Oaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)

In October, excavations began on two parts of the Oaklawn Cemetery.

As the search for victims continues, officials say it is time the nation learned about the dark day in Oklahoma history.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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