May 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to visit Tulsa for centennial of Tulsa Race Massacre

Photo of Hughes Van Ellis sitting in a House committee
Hughes Van Ellis, a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor and World War II veteran, testifies before a House subcommittee hearing. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will visit Tulsa, Oklahoma, next week to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the White House said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The visit will conclude a weekend of events commemorating one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history. On May 31, 1921, a white mob torched 35 blocks of a Black neighborhood and killed an estimated 300 people. No one was charged in the killings, and survivors say the community never recovered.

  • Details of Biden's visit have not yet been made public.

The big picture: The last living survivors of the massacre testified before a House subcommittee last week, urging lawmakers to consider reparations for survivors and their descendants.

  • "I still see Black men being shot, Black bodies lying in 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," 107-year-old Viola Fletcher said.
    • "I have lived through the massacre every day. Our country may forget this history, but I cannot."
  • Biden visited Tulsa twice as vice president, per Tulsa World.

Go deeper: 100 years after Tulsa Race Massacre, last living survivors urge U.S. to not forget

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