By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
President Joe Biden plans to travel to Oklahoma to help commemorate the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921.
White House officials have said the president will travel to Tulsa on June 1 to mark the centenary of the massacre of the Tulsa race in the Greenwood district, which many know as Black Wall Street.
Starting Wednesday, May 26, a series of events are planned, including the âRemember & Riseâ event produced by the Tulsa Race Massacre Commission and starring John Legend.
âRemember & Riseâ is slated for Monday, May 31 and will include national leaders and artists like Legend and Stacey Abrams.
ONEOK Field, an outdoor site in the Greenwood District, is the site of this year’s commemoration.
âJohn Legend is known for his poignant performances and transformational statements on the civil rights of black Americans,â said Commission Director Phil Armstrong.
âRemember & Rise is a once in a lifetime event, and John Legend’s participation allows a global audience to learn the story of what happened here 100 years ago, on the streets of the Afro community. – wealthiest American of the early twentieth century. “
âRemember & Riseâ pays tribute to several distinguished guests, including survivors and descendants of the 1921 Tulsa race.
âAs a community, we will come together and remember the murderous days of the Tulsa Massacre of 1921,â Armstrong said in a press release.
âWe will share examples of how the community has risen from its ashes to rebuild itself while providing a message of unity and hope to present and future generations of Black Tulsans, Oklahomans and Americans.â
According to NPR, an armed white mob attacked Greenwood, a thriving black community in Tulsa, killing up to 300 people. What used to be known as Black Wall Street has been burnt to the ground.
“Mother, I see men with guns,” said Florence Mary Parrish, a little child looking out the window on the evening of May 31, 1921, at the start of the siege, of NPR.
“And my great-grandmother silenced her by saying, ‘I’m reading now, don’t mind,'” Anneliese M. Bruner, a descendant of the Parrish family, told the network.
But the child became more insistent.
âAnd so my great-grandmother put down her reading and went to see what her daughter was talking about. And indeed, the street was populated with armed people, âBruner continued. “The bullets were flying everywhere and they ran away trying to get to safety at a friend’s house.”
NPR noted that Bruner could tell the heartbreaking story today because his great-grandmother Mary E. Jones Parrish, a teacher and journalist, survived and documented the massacre in her self-published memoir, “Events of the Tulsa Disaster â.
Tulsa historian Scott Ellsworth, author of “The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice,” told CNN that between 100 and 200 businesses were operating in the Greenwood District before the massacre, but photos and written records of the event are difficult to find today.
âHow many old letters do you have from your great-grandmother in your family?â said Ellsworth, who is helping lead an effort to uncover the unmarked graves of massacre victims. âThere are obviously newspaper reports. They are all available. A large number of discs were all destroyed.