Joe Biden is calling on Americans to reflect on the tragic experiences endured by victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre a century ago.
As the Guardian reported, the president issued a statement about the event that saw the attack and killings of roughly 300 Tulsa residents by white mobs, the demolition of the Greenwood DIstrict that housed the flourishing Black Wall Street and the subsequent placement of displaced residents in Negro internment camps.
“On this solemn centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, I call on the American people to reflect on the deep roots of racial terror in our nation and recommit to the work of rooting out systemic racism across our country,” Biden said.
“The federal government must reckon with and acknowledge the role that it has played in stripping wealth and opportunity from Black communities,” he 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.”
Biden made a commitment to invest in Black businesses through government programs, including a planned infrastructure package. He is also expected to attend the centennial commemoration slated to take place on Tuesday (June 1).
During the celebration, a new museum will make its debut. According to USA Today, the Greenwood Rising: The Black Wall Street History Center will tell the history of the Greenwood District, including the barely highlighted story of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
“We’re not just focusing on the massacre…,” said Phil Armstrong, project director for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. “We’re taking the entire narrative … so that people can walk away from here understanding what it means to look back, remember, reflect, commemorate, be enlightened, be educated…but then leave and go back to their communities and be inspired to maybe make changes in their own lives and their own communities.”