"The events of which we speak took place 100 years ago, and nevertheless, I'm the first president in 100 years to come to Tulsa", insisted that the democrat whilst saying to desire"to expose the truth".
"I came here in order to help break the silence. Since in the silence, the consequences deepen".
The racist Tulsa massacre has"been abandoned in our background for too long. The moment it happened, there was a definite attempt to erase it from our memory,"he uttered, stressing the existence in the general public, facing him, of three hundred-year-old survivors of the massacre: Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis and Lessie Benningfield Randle.
"Many injustices are so atrocious, so terrifying, so debilitating that they can't remain buried," continued the former vice-president of Barack Obama.
On Tuesday, he became the first president to commemorate one of the darkest pages in U.S. history in person in Tulsa, in the presence of three hundred-year-old survivors.
The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those victims expected the president to"do justice" on behalf of those who didn't survive, said Kristi Williams, among these. According to the nation"has the opportunity to right the wrong" due to the community.
On May 31, 1921, black men that had come to shield a young African American arrested and accused of assaulting a white woman confronted hundreds of angry white protesters in court in Tulsa.
At a tense atmosphere, shots were fired, and the African Americans had fled into their neighborhood of Greenwood.
The following day, at dawn, white people had looted and burnt businesses and houses in what was then nicknamed"Black Wall Street", an instance of economic success.
Like the economic losses caused, the human toll isn't easy to estimate, but according to historians as many as 300 African Americans have been murdered, and nearly 10,000 have lost their homes, with no single white official being convicted.
The police had armed some attackers, according to the record of a commission of inquiry. In the end, the police went so far as to accuse the people of Greenwood of having instigated a riot.
Joe Biden used this historic speech to denounce the"absolutely unprecedented" attacks on African Americans' right to vote,"the most fundamental right", through laws restricting access to the ballot box in some conservative countries.
"This sacred right is under attack with an intensity I have never noticed," said the Democrat.
Since the presidential election, bills restricting access into the vote have multiplied in the States in the initiative of the Republicans. They're denounced from the Democrats as particularly striking minorities.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved the initial bill (HR.1) in March.
"The Senate will consider it later this month and I'll fight like hell, even with all the tools at my disposal, to get it passed," he said, while admitting that his majority in the upper house was too narrow to guarantee that vote.
Khalid Kamau, 44, had traveled from Georgia less to commemorate the massacre than to celebrate the past existence of"a thriving and autonomous black community".
"When it has existed , it can exist again."
In the roads, some signs recalled that"the lives of blacks matter", or demanded the conclusion of"generalized racism".
Reverend Robert Turner, of whom the African American Methodist Vernon Church is one of the few buildings in Greenwood to have escaped devastation in 1921, has begun a petition calling for repairs.
"I hope this nation will eventually look after the taxpayers it has handled badly for centuries, notably African Americans," he explained. In the United States, descendants of slaves make comparable demands.
On Monday, Tulsa Mayor George Bynum issued a formal apology for"the municipality's inability to protect our community in 1921".
Within this area of Oklahoma, a southern slave state and one of those strongholds of the Ku Klux Klan, the effects of this destruction are still being felt today.
"When tourists see Tulsa, they can't believe how much segregation remains current, or how clear racism is," said Michelle Brown, educational programs manager in the regional cultural center.
"It's time to cure"
On April 19, some of the last hundred-year-old survivors traveled to Washington to testify before Congress and demand that the country recognize their suffering.
As early as 2001, a commission urged that the residents of Greenwood get reimbursement. Thus far, these appeals have gone unsuccessful.
For LaShaundra Haughton, 51, great-granddaughter of massacre survivors,"it's time to heal, it's time to tell the facts, it's time to bring it all to light."
A desire for transparency recently illustrated by the excavations undertaken to find the mass graves in which the many black victims were buried.