TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – Dozens of Oklahomans gathered outside of Tulsa’s Greenwood Cultural Center as President Biden toured the center and met with the three known living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
“We thought this was a historic event. We just wanted to be part of it and respect everybody that has been a part of it,” John Bruton said.
Bruton was one of dozens of Oklahomans who gathered in Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District, awaiting the very first presidential visit in remembrance of one of Oklahoma’s darkest days.
“I think that’s a good uplift for our community to have the president around here,” Keith Tye, a friend of a massacre survivor descendant, said.
“Something good will come out of this,” Bonnie West, visiting Tulsa from Edmond, said.
President Biden landed in Tulsa Tuesday afternoon and then toured the Greenwood Cultural Center.
After the tour, Biden met with the three known living survivors of the massacre and gave a speech.
“This story isn’t about the loss of life but a loss of living of wealth, prosperity,” President Biden said. “Imagine a thriving Greenwood for the last 100 years, but that would have meant for all of Tulsa, including the white community.
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Outside the cultural center hours before Biden’s visit, dozens of Tulsans gathered for a Century Walk, traveling from Greenwood to North Tulsa, taking the same path some survivors used to escape the destruction.
“It means a lot to us to come together and to commemorate this tragic event,” Elbor Edgar McCondichie, a descendant, said.
“Our loved ones that we lost are gone but they’re not forgotten,” Tye said.