Tulsa, Oklahoma is once again on the national stage over issues of race. On Friday, the Rev. Al Sharpton slammed President Donald Trump in a speech given in the historic Greenwood District as part of the city's celebration in honor of , a holiday that marks the end of slavery and freedom for Black Americans. On Saturday, Trump will hold a campaign rally in Tulsa, after pushing it back a day in response to criticism about the appropriateness of holding it on Juneteenth.
Trump and Sharpton aren't the only big names gathering in the city. NBA star Russell Westbrook, Sen. Kamala Harris, actor Alfre Woodard and several dozen other entertainers, artists, activists and politicians will feature at Saturday's Tulsa Juneteenth block party. The event's livestream starts at 6 p.m. CT (4 p.m. PT) -- an hour before Trump's rally begins, and about a mile away -- and is expected to feature political messages that include police reform.
Tiffany Crutcher, for example, whose brother Terrance was fatally shot by a Tulsa police officer in 2016, has been a leader in the city's movement for police reform and will speak at the event.
The timing of Trump's campaign rally and the Juneteenth block party are particularly poignant. Next year, the city commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre.
The two-day spree of racially fueled destruction began May 31, 1921, killing 36 people and leveling 35 blocks of a district central to the city's successful Black American community, including an area known as Black Wall Street.
Saturday's Tulsa Juneteenth block party marks the 155th anniversary of the freeing of enslaved Black people in the US. The city normally holds a Juneteenth celebration but postponed its in-person event over concerns about the spread of the . Trump's rally is also a source of concern it could lead to a coronavirus outbreak given its indoor arena location.
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