This week people marked the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre on a Black neighborhood , and mourned the loss of 215 Native children whose bodies were found in unmarked graves in British Columbia.
Feven Gerezgiher reports:
This memorial day weekend people remembered countless lost lives; those lost in military service and those lost to racial violence. On Tuesday, President Biden commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the Tulsa massacre.
“For much too long, the history of what took place here was told in silence, cloaked in darkness,” said Biden. “But just because history is silent, it doesn’t mean that it did not take place. And while darkness can hide much, it erases nothing.”
In Oklahoma in 1921, a white mob killed hundreds of black residents and burned over 35 blocks of a prosperous Black neighborhood. The destruction displaced 10,000 people yet was largely erased from history.
Biden went on to say “Some injustices are so heinous, so horrific, so grievous, they can’t be buried, no matter how people try.”
Also this past week, the Canadian government confirmed the discovery of the bodies of 215 indigenous children in British Columbia. The remains were found on the ground of a residential school that closed decades ago. Such schools were known for forced cultural assimilation as well as physical and sexual abuse. Mourners held a vigil in downtown Minneapolis on Monday.
Historian Peter Rachleff said this past year has unearthed painful history.
“Part of this awakening in the last year has also been an awareness of the way the past has been remembered,” said Rachleff. “We’re in a great period of awareness that not only do the events in history matter, but how we remember them, how we tell the story of them, how we engage with them, is a critical issue.”
Rachleff said he’s hopeful this increased awareness ultimately leads to change, reconciliation and reparations.
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