Tulsa Marks 100 Years Since Race Massacre

CBS4's Danya Bacchus has more on how the local community is coming together.

Video Transcript

- Now at 5:30, today marks the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, one of the most violent racial attacks in American history.

- A headline event with entertainers and speakers planned for today had to be canceled. But the community is not letting the day go unmarked. CBS 4's Danya Bacchus is there. We want to warn you, this story contains images some may find disturbing.

DANYA BACCHUS: Two of the three living survivors of the Tulsa race massacre attended a final soil collection on Standpipe Hill, honoring the remaining unknown victims who perished there.

KRISTI WILLIAMS: I also call this the Valley of the Dry Bones. And these bones have been speaking out for a very long time.

DANYA BACCHUS: This Memorial Day is the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, in which a white mob killed some 300 Black residents and destroyed the thriving Greenwood business district.

MICHAEL THOMPSON: For all of it to be gone in the course of the day, it is heartbreaking. It was heartbreaking then and it's heartbreaking now.

DANYA BACCHUS: The emotional and economic effects have been felt for generations, and sidelined in the history books.

JALEN RILEY: I remember specifically being told that they were not allowed to speak about any of the stuff that happened here. And that's, like, not OK.

DANYA BACCHUS: Jalen and Isaiah Riley's parents brought them to the only building that withstood the massacre, Vernon AME Church, for the dedication of a prayer wall, where everyone is welcome to pray for racial healing.

MEGAN MCARTHUR: It's a beautiful, diverse group of people. We want to be support, stand in support of everyone who is seeking reparations, and who is seeking that healing that never came.

DANYA BACCHUS: Monday's "Remember and Rise" event at Oneok Field, featuring singer John Legend and a speech from activist Stacey Abrams, was abruptly canceled just days before. Legend tweeted he looks forward to visiting in the near future, and for reparations for survivors and their descendants. Danya Bacchus, CBS News, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

- President Biden will be in Tulsa tomorrow to pay his respects, the same day the city plans to start digging in an area that could contain a mass grave of victims from the massacre. And Gayle King takes an up-close look at the Tulsa massacre as she hosts a CBS News special, "Tulsa 1921: An American Tragedy." The primetime special airs at 10:00 PM, only right here on CBS 4, of course, followed by "CBS 4 News Tonight" at 11:00.