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President Biden to visit Tulsa for Race Massacre events

President Biden to visit Tulsa for Race Massacre events

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Hannibal Johnson talks about "The single worst incident of domestic racial violence in American history.

President Joe Biden plans to appear in Tulsa on Tuesday, the 100th anniversary of the destruction of Tulsa's all-Black Greenwood neighborhood during the 1921 Race Massacre.

No details of Biden's visit were available, but the White House confirmed he will be coming to the city. Other sources indicated he's expected to visit Greenwood Rising, an historical center at Greenwood Street and Archer Avenue due to open on Tuesday, and the Greenwood Cultural Center.

He may also meet with massacre survivors and descendants.

Historically, presidential visits have been few and far between for Tulsans, but Tuesday's announcement came less than a year after Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, visited the city as part of his unsuccessful re-election campaign.

Also Tuesday, Oklahoma's congressional delegation announced support for a resolution recognizing the massacre centennial.

First District Congressman Kevin Hern introduced the resolution in the House and Sen. James Lankford introduced it in the Senate.

Oklahoma's delegation, which has raised the ire of many Black Tulsans for its support of Trump and what some see as a lack of support for Oklahoma minorities, said its resolution "urges the Tulsa Race Massacre be taught in American schools and recognizes the important work of organizations like the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission and John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation."

Text of the resolution was not immediately available.

“The Tulsa Race Massacre is an important piece of our history, and it’s important to own that. The destruction of Black Wall Street devastated economic opportunities for generations of Tulsa’s Black families," said Hern, a Tulsa Republican.

"Oklahomans want the nation to know the accurate history of events 100 years ago, the growing economic development in the Greenwood District, and the continued work toward reconciliation," said Lankford. "The importance of this work will grow after the anniversary and I look forward to continuing to walk with my many friends in Greenwood as well as tell the story of tragedy to triumph.”

Biden visited the city at least twice while vice president in 2009-2017. In 2015 he headlined a Democratic Party fundraiser at the Summit Club, and spoke to a group of Democratic donors at a private home in 2011.

In 1986, Biden campaigned in Oklahoma City for then-1st District Congressman James R. Jones, who was running for the U.S. Senate.

"We are grateful that President Biden will join in the centennial commemoration of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre," Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a Facebook post.

"His visit honors our neighbors who were killed in this city’s worst moment and the work being done to build a better Tulsa for future generations."

Tulsa police, in another Facebook post said, "Please expect that traffic, road closures, and potential flight delays are likely during his visit. We will provide more information as it becomes available."

The department has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday in which Chief Wendell Franklin will address the department’s safety protocols and response plans regarding the many planned events happening in Tulsa this weekend, along with Biden’s visit.


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