"This was not a riot, it was a massacre," says US President Biden as he marks the 101st anniversary of the mass killings of some 300 Black people by white mobs in Tulsa city of Oklahoma state.

"We must continue to reckon with the past and work to build a more just future," says President Biden. (AP Archive)

President Joe Biden has recalled "the hell that was unleashed" 101 years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma when a white mob looted and burned a section of the city known as Black Wall Street, killing hundreds of people.

"We remember the hell that was unleashed," according to a statement from Biden on Wednesday. 

"This was not a riot, it was a massacre. We must continue to reckon with the past and work to build a more just future."

Biden travelled to Tulsa one year ago to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. 

The violence was, for decades afterward, referred to as the Tulsa Race Riot and was largely ignored.

An estimated 300 Black people were killed on May 31 and June 1, 1921, in the attack on then-prosperous Greenwood District.

READ MORE: US judge greenlights Tulsa Race Massacre reparations lawsuit proceed

Search for graves

A search for the graves of massacre victims began last year with nearly three dozen coffins containing remains of possible victims recovered and researchers urging that the search continue.

Biden said his administration has worked to end housing discrimination for Black people and to provide federal contracts to businesses owned by Black and brown people.

A lawsuit that includes three known survivors of the massacre and seeks reparations for the violence and financial losses of life, homes and businesses is pending in Tulsa County District Court.

READ MORE: African-Americans seek justice over race massacre as Biden visits Tulsa

Source: AP