Published on: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

President Biden traveled to Oklahoma on Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, in a visit that comes amid a renewed reckoning over a long-overlooked attack that left as many as 300 people dead in a community once known as Black Wall Street.

On May 31 and June 1, 1921, an armed white mob attacked the all-Black district of Greenwood. The violent, racist mob destroyed the area, leaving 40 square blocks in ruins and nearly 10,000 people homeless. A century later, it remains one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history.

"For much too long, the history of what took place here was told in silence, cloaked in darkness," Biden told a group gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the racist attack. For decades after the massacre, the violent attack was covered up and not well known nationally. But as the national conversation has increasingly focused on the issue of systemic racism and police violence over the past several years, the attack has received more attention.