President Joe Biden is set to visit Tulsa, Oklahoma next week in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. According to CNN, Biden will make the trip on Tuesday (June 1). The White House has not announced additional details surrounding the journey, but his visit will push others to acknowledge the massacre, which has often been left out of the history books.
From the evening of May 31 through the afternoon of June 1, 1921, a violent mob of white people attacked Tulsa’s Black Wall Street — an area that was flourishing economically and culturally for African Americans at that time.
Over 300 Black people were killed during the massacre. In the aftermath, many of the survivors were placed in internment camps to prevent them from participating in a “Negro uprising.” The deadly event caused more than $25 million in damages, which was a huge loss for the flourishing Black community.
Last week, Viola Fletcher, the oldest living survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre, testified before Congress to push for reparations for survivors and their descendants. Fletcher was only seven years old when the deadly attack burned her neighborhood to the ground. She described the horrific night during the hearing.
“I will never forget the violence of the white mob when we left our home,” she said. “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.”
“I am 107 years old and have never seen justice,” Fletcher added. “I pray that one day I will. I have been blessed with a long life and have seen the best and the worst of this country. I think about the horror inflicted upon Black people in this country every day.”