Congressman Johnson Attends President Biden’s Address in Tulsa
TULSA, OK – On Monday, May 31 and Tuesday, June 1, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) – the Congressional Black Caucus Whip – visited Tulsa, Oklahoma, to commemorate and recognize the centennial of the Tulsa Massacre when a mob of white residents set fire to Black Wall Street on May 31 and June 1, 1921.
Hundreds of Black-owned businesses and homes in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, were destroyed and an estimated 300 Black residents were murdered. More than 10,000 Black residents left homeless.
No one was ever held accountable for the massacre in which National Guard and local Tulsa police were known to be complicit in the crimes.
“As we observe the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa-Greenwood Massacre, we must examine this part of our history lest we be bound to repeat it,” said Rep. Johnson. “This massacre of Black lives may have been the deadliest, but it is certainly not an isolated event – and Black people in this nation continue to fight against racist violence even today. We cannot let our future be defined by this hate. I recently introduced the Tulsa-Greenwood Massacre Claims Accountability Act, which would create a federal cause of action for massacre-related claims. The victims and their descendants of this atrocity have been denied justice for far too long. Justice must be served.”
On Monday, he participated in a Survivors and Descendants Town Hall at Greenwood Cultural Center and a ceremony at Standpipe Hill, which is considered sacred ground. It was the location of where Black residents were attacked and driven out of there community by an armed, white mob. He spoke at the ceremony to commemorate the event, view HERE (34:26). He also visited the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park where a statue of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” stands.
On Tuesday, Rep. Johnson joined other CBC leaders during the Tulsa Massacre Centennial Commission’s Economic Empowerment Day. As part of the day’s events, the Centennial Commission dedicated an 11,000 square-foot history center dedicated to telling the story of the Greenwood District that was destroyed during the Tulsa/Greenwood Massacre as part of a $30 million donation to Greenwood Rising.
Later Tuesday, he joined President Biden for his speech at the cultural center in Tulsa on the centennial of massacre announcing new steps to help narrow the racial wealth gap and reinvest in communities that have been left behind by failed policies. Specifically, the Administration is expanding access to two key wealth-creators – homeownership and small business ownership – in communities of color and disadvantaged communities.
Last week on May 27, Congressman Johnson co-hosted “Remembering the Greenwood Massacre: 100 Years from Tulsa to the Insurrection -- Reconciliation, Restoration & Reparations” -- a Zoom to Facebook virtual discussion featuring members of the Congressional Black Caucus, a PBS documentary filmmaker, descendants of survivors and the Oklahoma state representative who represent Greenwood today.
The event examined this deadly assault on the 100th anniversary of the crime in the context of other racial massacres and police killings, including the one-year anniversary of the killing of George Floyd (May 25, 2020).