BY JOSEPH CHOI
President Biden issued a proclamation on Monday commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, in which a mob of white attackers killed hundreds of Black Americans and burned down several blocks of what was referred to as Black Wall Street.
Biden declared Monday to be a “Day of Remembrance: 100 Years After The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre” to commemorate the horrific racist attack.
“One hundred years ago, a violent white supremacist mob raided, firebombed, and destroyed approximately 35 square blocks of the thriving Black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Families and children were murdered in cold blood,” Biden said in his proclamation. “Homes, businesses, and churches were burned. In all, as many as 300 Black Americans were killed, and nearly 10,000 were left destitute and homeless.”
“With this proclamation, I commit to the survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, including Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis, and Lessie Benningfield Randle, the descendants of victims, and to this Nation that we will never forget,” Biden 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.”
“The Federal Government must reckon with and acknowledge the role that it has played in stripping wealth and opportunity from Black communities,” he added.
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Biden is schedule to travel to Tulsa on Tuesday to meet with survivors of the massacre and to deliver further remarks about the 100th anniversary.
Viola Fletcher, 107, the oldest living survivor of the massacre, testified in front of Congress earlier in May and called for justice. Fletcher is taking legal action against Tulsa as well as the state of Oklahoma, seeking reparations for the attack.
“I will never forget the violence of the white mob when we left our home,” Fletcher testified. “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.”