President of the United States, Joe Biden traveled to Tulsa on Tuesday to mark the centennial of the city's massacre of black people in the state of Oklahoma, where he promised to reduce ethnic sectarianism in the country.
The massacre of 1921, a fertile neighborhood inhabited by African-Americans, was demolished by white men, "long forgotten in our history. Once it happened, there was a clear attempt to erase it from memory," said President North American.
"Just because history is quiet does not mean it did not happen," said Joe Biden, quoted by the France-Press (AFP) news agency as saying his visit to Tulsa would "fill the silence." About the massacre, according to historians, 300 African Americans died.
In the presence of three survivors of the 1921 massacre, Joe Biden became the first president to face one of the darkest pages in American history.
On Monday, Joe Biden issued an American proclamation calling on Americans to "reflect on the deep roots of ethnic terrorism" and to "engage in the eradication of formal racism."
It began on May 31, 1921, when two groups, one white and one black, clashed in the sheriff's office. At the center of the controversy was a young man named Dick Roland who was arrested on charges of sexually harassing a white woman inside an elevator.
A group of whites came up with possible plans to kidnap and kill Dick Roland.
After several shootings there was chaos and within 24 hours a white mob, "triggered by rumors of a black insurgency, occupied and burned Greenwood County," destroying all 35 constituencies.
According to the Red Cross, 1256 homes were set on fire, 215 looted and thousands of African Americans were displaced, as well as numerous places of church and community trade.
The Race Riot Commission, which is investigating the massacre, concluded 80 years after the riots, with a report released in 2001 alone that 8,000 people were homeless at the time and between 100 and 300 had died.
The charges against Dick Roland were dropped just hours after the assassination. Roland "may have fallen at the feet of the white woman inside the elevator," police concluded.
On Monday, Tulsa Mayor George Painam issued a formal apology for "the county's inability to protect the community in 1921."
On April 19, some of the last survivors of the event went to Washington and testified before Congress, demanding that the country acknowledge their suffering.