TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – President Joe Biden led the nation in a remembrance and a reckoning on Tuesday, marking the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, meeting with survivors and bringing a new message of equality and change.
Some say when you get a chance to be where history happened, it is like you are part of it.
That’s one of the reasons why so many people visited the Greenwood District to see, for the first time ever, a president in Tulsa to memorialize the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
“To all the descendants of those who suffered – to this community – that’s why we’re here, to shine a light, to make sure America knows the story in full,” Biden said.
Hundreds came to Tulsa to remember and mourn the deaths from one of the darkest moments in American history.
Some community members said it’s great to know the president is giving the proper attention to the horrors a white mob inflicted on the the residents of the thriving, predominately Black Greenwood District from May 31 to June 1, 1921, which, until recently, wasn’t even taught in schools.
“I know that it got burned down one time 100 years ago and that a lot of people died and that was not good for Greenwood,” said Harmony, a young girl.
“I was actually just telling my younger cousin how we weren’t raised brought up knowing about it,” said Tyler Trimble.
During Tuesday’s speech, Biden spoke about reparations for survivors, something the Rev. Jesse Jackson says needs to be done.
“People burned up and the insurance companies did not recognize their claims. We will get those claims back…restitution,” Jackson said. “It’s the right thing to do, you know, if we love one another and stop being angry and so mean, we will be better off.”
Many are just hoping the president’s visit will spark real change in a conversation that some believe is long overdue.
“We have been able to come together as a family of all races to come and see this happening and to see and remember what happened so it doesn’t happen again,” said Harmony Kysel.
“I’m really hoping this visit from the president sparks a actual real action from a lot of our community leaders.” LaTesha Edwards said. “We need more than days of commemoration.”
Meanwhile, the president’s plans today also included fair housing enhancements, such as addressing inequality in home appraisals, along with increasing federal contracts for small and disadvantaged businesses.
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