President Joe Biden declared a day of remembrance Sunday 100 years after the massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“I call upon the people of the United States to commemorate the tremendous loss of life and security that occurred over those 2 days in 1921, to celebrate the bravery and resilience of those who survived and sought to rebuild their lives again, and commit together to eradicate systemic racism and help to rebuild communities and lives that have been destroyed by it,” he said in a proclamation.
In 1921, a white mob descended upon the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, nicknamed “Black Wall Street,” and killed hundreds while burning buildings and businesses to the ground. For years, this episode of extreme racial violence was written out of history books and its anniversary unmarked by political leaders.
“The federal government must reckon with and acknowledge the role that it has played in stripping wealth and opportunity from Black communities,” Biden wrote in his statement, pledging future investment in Black communities and businesses.
Biden is planning a visit to Tulsa on Tuesday, where he will meet with surviving members of the community and deliver remarks.
Read Biden’s full proclamation here.