G.T. Bynum, Mayor of Tulsa where hundreds of Black people were killed 100 years ago, has apologised for the US city’s role in the massacre.
“Tulsa’s city government failed to protect Black Tulsans from murder and arson on the night of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and from discrimination in subsequent decades,” Bynum wrote in the statement posted online on Monday.
“As the Mayor of Tulsa, I apologise for the city government’s failure to protect our community in 1921 and to do right by the victims of the Race Massacre in its aftermath.
“The victims – men, women, young children – deserved better from their city, and I am so sorry they didn’t receive it,” Xinhua news agency quoted Bynum as saying.
The city in the state of Oklahoma is commemorating the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre centennial with events and ceremonies to honour the victims.
On the night of May 31, 1921, a white mob descended the prosperous, all-black neighbourhood of Greenwood in north Tulsa.
In less than 24 hours, the mob burned what had been known as “Black Wall Street” to the ground leaving more than 10,000 residents homeless.
The exact death toll was not recorded, but an estimated 300 people died in the tragedy.
Historians believed that mass graves could be located within the city where digging is conducted.