Biden to visit Tulsa for Black Wall Street massacre centennial

·National Politics Reporter
·2-min read

WASHINGTON — President Biden will deliver remarks in Tulsa, Okla., on June 1, the centennial of the race massacre there, principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.

Biden plans on visiting the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, where mobs of white residents destroyed 30 city blocks of an area known as Black Wall Street and killed hundreds of Black residents on May 31 and June 1, 1921. At the time of the massacre, the Greenwood District was one of the epicenters of Black wealth in the country.

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. (Alvin C. Krupnick Co./Library of Congress via AP)
Smoke billows over Tulsa, Okla., in 1921 after the Tulsa Race Massacre. (Alvin C. Krupnick Co./Library of Congress via AP)

Biden will meet during the visit with massacre survivors, who range in age from 101 to 107. He will also stop at the Greenwood Cultural Center. Further details of his trip are expected to be released closer to the centennial.

Recently some survivors of the massacre have been calling for reparations due in part to generational wealth lost during the rampage.

“Two weeks ago I celebrated my 107th birthday,” Viola Fletcher, a massacre survivor, said in a congressional hearing on the need for reparations. “Today I am visiting Washington, D.C., for the first time in my life. And I’m here seeking justice. And I’m asking my country to acknowledge what happened in Tulsa in 1921.”

On the campaign trail, Biden called for a study of the efficacy of reparations but did not take a definitive stance on the issue. It’s unclear if he will address reparations during next Tuesday’s visit.

The White House announced the visit on the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, whose family and close friends met privately with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the Oval Office on Tuesday.

U.S. President Joe Biden listens during an expanded bilateral meeting with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea in the State Dining Room of the White House on May 21, 2021. (Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
President Biden at the White House on Friday. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images)

Jean-Pierre’s Wednesday afternoon appearance at the White House press briefing marked another milestone too. It was the first time in 30 years that a Black press secretary addressed a group of reporters from the Briefing Room.

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