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Tulsa Race Massacre Commemoration

List of commemoration programs and events happening in Tulsa

Have an event you'd like to see on the list? Send an email to info@tulsacouncil.org with information about your event.

March 2021 - Launch of Dr. Karlos Hill’s The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History, published by the University of Oklahoma Press

March 2, 6-7 p.m. Community Read Event: "Black Wall Street 100" Live Interview With Author Hannibal B. Johnson
Hannibal B. Johnson speaks about his newest book, "Black Wall Street 100," via Zoom.

March 2 - “Reparations and the Tulsa Race Massacre” Speakers: Dr. Ife Williams, Ms. Dreisen Health, Mr. Bruce Fisher | Moderator: Dr. Karlos Hill - Noon-1:30pm – Online via Zoom – Registration TBA
Sponsored by the OU College of Law. Each panelist will present for fifteen minutes on their area of expertise, beginning with Dr. Williams (reparations overview), Mr. Fisher (history of Tulsa Race Massacre), Ms. Dreisen Heath (reparation litigation and reparations for the Tulsa Race Massacre).

March 8 • 12:10-12:50 p.m. • Books Sandwiched In: The Vanishing Half • Zoom
Join Friends of the Tulsa City-County Libraries on Zoom for this lunchtime book talk series and discover your next read or dive deeper into a latest bestseller.

March 18 • 7 p.m. • Community Read Event • An Evening With Mira Jacob • Zoom
Join author Mira Jacob via Zoom as she discusses her book "Good Talk," in which she sensitively explores the ways we talk about race, sexuality and love. Audience Q&A to follow Jacob's presentation.

March 20 - The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s 2021 KEY Conference (Keep Educating Yourself), “PD Madness,” in support of PK–12 teachers across the state, will take place March 6–27. Kristy Brugar and Crag Hill, professors in the Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum department, will be presenting a session devoted to Jennifer Latham’s Dreamland Burning (2017). 10:30–11:45am | Online via Zoom

March 25 Weekly Teacher Symposium – The kickoff to 9-week Public Teacher Education Workshop Series

March 30 • 6:30 p.m. • Common Ground: A Courageous Community Conversation on Tulsa’s Past, Present and Future • Zoom
Courageous Community Conversations is a reading and discussion program designed to give participants an opportunity for authentic and transformative dialogue about challenging issues. Using Hannibal B. Johnson’s "Black Wall Street 100" as a catalyst, we will discuss the impacts of racial trauma and the actions necessary for meaningful growth and healing. Participants will have the opportunity to share ideas for fostering a more inclusive and equitable Tulsa.

Opening in April • Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N. Hartford • Exhibit: TCCL Remembers – Commemorating Tulsa’s Race Massacre With Education, Empathy and Healing
This curated exhibit will offer a unique, immersive way for participants to learn about this tragic historical event as well as the racial and political conditions leading up to and following the Tulsa Race Massacre itself. TCCL is a proud recipient of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission Grant Program. All grants have been made possible from the generosity of WPX Energy.

April 1 - Launch of “Redreaming Dreamland,” the spring 2021 issue of World Literature Today

April 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29 - Virtual Class Series: The Greenwood District – ahha
Join this virtual series to learn more about the historic Greenwood District as we commemorate the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Thursdays, April 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29 7:00 - 8:00 PM

April 8 • 7 p.m. • Unite Tulsa: Empathy, Education and Healing • Zoom
Join the library for a rapid-fire series of presentations from Tulsa County residents who are making a difference. Register to receive a Zoom link.

April 8-9 - “Reflecting on the Past, Facing the Future: The Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Symposium,” featuring keynote and plenary talks by Tracy K. Smith, Scott Ellsworth, and Hannibal B. Johnson as well as a dance performance, with original choreography, sponsored by the OU School of Dance (detailed schedule TBA)

April 10 - The Center for Poets & Writers hosts Tracy K. Smith for a craft talk and book signing on the OSU-Tulsa campus, co-sponsored by Fulton Street Books

April 16 - The Center for the Americas in the David L. Boren College of International Studies will host the talk “Race, Massacre, and Historical Memory: The Case of Guatemala,” by Luis Rodrigo Salvadó. Dr. Salvadó is an analyst for the Public Prosecutor for Human Rights of Guatemala and professor of forensic science and criminal investigation at the Universidad de Occidente de Guatemala. 3:00-4:30pm | Online via Zoom

A dedication ceremony for two benches placed at the Mabel B. Little House at and the corner of Greenwood Ave & Archer Street

April 22 • 6 p.m. • Community Read Event • Fireside Chat With Author Robin DiAngelo • Zoom
New York Times bestselling author Robin DiAngelo joins us via Zoom to discuss her book "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism."

April 23  Dedication of Historic Landmarks in Historic Greenwood

April 29 • 7 p.m • Panel Discussion: Who Watches the Watchmen? • Zoom
Join the library for a Zoom discussion with several writers from HBO's "Watchmen" series, as well as the comics curator from OKPOP. The panel will discuss the show and its relation to the Tulsa Race Massacre.

May 5 The Greenwood Joy Experience From May 5 through June 19th 2021, the respected artist Dawn Tree will take up the space of the Greenarch Building for a breathtaking art show combining visual artworks, film, animation, and sound. This adventure will invite the visitor to reflect on what joy feels like while dissecting the issues of ownership, spiritual healing and financial payback. The Greenwood Joy Experience is a 1 hour immersive experience that reconnects visitors to themselves, the Greenwood legacy, and humanity.

May 6  Meet Author Jason Reynolds, Winner of the 2021 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature • location to be announced • 7 p.m. 
Jason Reynolds is the New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys and other works for young adult and middle-grade audiences. “As a black man and a white man, both writers and educators, we came together to co-write a book about how systemic racism and police brutality affect the lives of young people in America, in order to create an important, unique and honest work that would give young people and the people who educate them a tool for having these difficult but absolutely vital conversations,” said Reynolds about his book All American Boys, co-written by Brendan Kiely. Visit www.tulsalibrary.org/zarrowaward for more details.

May 7  Commemorative Grants - THE ARMED MAN: A MASS FOR PEACE 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. AHHA Tulsa (map) Tulsa Chorale commemorates Tulsa Race Massacre’s 100-year anniversary with May 7 performance of Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” in collaboration with Ahha Tulsa’s Mayfest and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. https://tulsachorale.org/concerts/tulsa-race-massacre-anniversary-commemoration/

May 7 2nd Annual UNITY OVER VIOLENCE PRAYER MARCH TO CITY HALL 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. This March will also commemorate the 100th Year of the Black Wall Street Massacre, which occurred in the historic Greenwood District in Tulsa, OK. This march will begin at Vernon A.M.E. Church and proceed thru the Greenwood District to the steps of Tulsa City Hall, where there will be a prayer vigil and speeches from special guests.

May 8 & May 16  Commemorative Grants - GREENWOOD: AN AMERICAN DREAM DESTROYED May 8 at 8:00 p.m. and May 16 at 5:00 p.m. Tulsa Performing Arts Center (map) Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed, tells the powerful story from the perspective of the Boley family. It examines the tragedy that took place on May 30-June 1, 1921, in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

May 11 • Community Read EventFriendship Mattered Then! Friendship Matters Now! Presented by Clifton L. Taulbert • Zoom • 6 p.m.
Join the library via Zoom for an inspiring presentation from Clifton Taulbert, author of "Eight Habits of the Heart: Embracing the Values That Build Strong Communities."

May 23 • CERTIFIED PIEDMONTESE IRONMAN TULSA 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commemoration (map) Stage 2 of the Ironman Competition Event will begin in Tulsa’s Greenwood District. Join the excitement as athletes switch from the cycling portion to the run where participants will continue running through downtown to Route 66.

May 25 • KITCHENAID SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP May 25 at 8:00 a.m. - May 31 at 8:00 p.m. Southern Hills Country Club (map) In partnership with the 1921 TRMCC, the 2021 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship returns to Southern Hills Country Club, one of the top 100 courses in the world. Tickets available online. The event will be televised.

May 26 • JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM May 26 at 9:00 a.m. - May 29 at 7:00 p.m. The 12th Annual Reconciliation in America National Symposium will be held on May 26th through May 29th, 2021. The theme is "The Future of Tulsa's Past: The Centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre and Beyond."

May 28  Dedication of Pathway to Hope – The official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the “Pathway to Hope” Walking Path. Join us at 5:21 p.m. for the official ribbon-cutting for the new “Pathway to Hope” connecting the Greenwood District to John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park. The event includes a march to the park and a program in the park after. Meet at Greenwood Ave. and I-244. 5:21 p.m. - 7:21 p.m. John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park (map)

May 30  Faith Still Standing – Unity Day - A statewide unity program for the community of faith to reflect on the history of the Greenwood District in conjunction with the 2021 Commemoration. May 30, 7:00 a.m. to June 10 at 9:00 p.m.

May 31  Remember & Rise  Nationally televised event to commemorate the centennial with key speakers, musicians, and special guests. This will be a socially distanced, outdoor event at OneOK Field in Greenwood with doors opening at noon and the main program starting at 4 p.m. The line-up of speakers will include national celebrities, renowned performers, and other VIPs from the nation’s capital. Ticket required for entry. Parking may be limited with street closures in the area. 

May 31  Candlelight Vigil  10:30 p.m.  11:30 p.m. • A solemn ceremony commemorating the start of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Introducing the 2021 TYPROS Foundation grant cycle! This year, in commemoration of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, TYPROS is dedicating its grant cycle to the Historic Greenwood District and Black Wall Street projects. Have an idea to honor the legacy of Black Wall Street or contribute to the revitalization of the Historic Greenwood District? Share your ideas using the hashtag #MakeTulsaAwesome. The cycle opens June 1st - 30th. Learn more at www.typros.org/foundation.

June 1  Economic Empowerment Day – Online webinar hosted by Hill Harper and Eric Stevenson

June 1 • Pop-up Block Party hosted by Motown

June 2 • Greenwood Rising Dedication

June 3  Nation Day of Learning – A global online history lesson on the story of Greenwood

June 4 • Greenwood Film Festival – A multi-theatre event hosted by Tim Reid and Clifton Taulbert

June 5  Dreamland Again – a multi-genre experience that uses music’s power to unite and heal the greater Tulsa Community, while remembering the tragic massacre of 1921 – in partnership with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. Dr. View, and SymDesign

June 5 • Black Wall Street Memorial Run – 5k/10k run in honor of the official Centennial Commemoration festivities

June 12 - 14  The Greenwood Film Festival will not just commemorate the tragic events of 1921, but continue to build a strong and vibrant art, culture, and film community in the Greenwood District. The Festival will give local filmmakers and others a platform to connect with their community, encourage identity, increase film-making skills, ownership, and engage in hot topics in the Let’s Talk Panels. Tickets can be purchased www.greenwoodfilmfestival.com Community partners and sponsors are encouraged and should contact Greenwood Film Festival at info@greenwoodfilmfestival.com, Tel: 323.379.2687

June 19  Tulsa Juneteenth Festival – Hosted by the Black Wall Street Chamber Commerce

Year-long  #TulsaTriumphs - 2021 Commitment to Eliminate Racism - YWCA

The Tulsa City-County Library has a wealth of resources available on it's website. Much of what is listed below comes from this site: https://www.tulsalibrary.org/research/tulsa-and-oklahoma-history

  • Documents

Tulsa Race Riot: A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (2001) (Full Report Available Online)

Annual report / National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 1921 (Full Report Available Online)

Report, Tulsa Race Riot Disaster Relief (1994) from the American Red Cross

  • Books

1921 Tulsa Race Riot and the American Red Cross, "Angels of Mercy" (1993) by Robert Hower

The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot and the Politics of Memory (2000) by Julia Forrester-Sellers

Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District (1998) by Hannibal Johnson

The Burning Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (2001) by Tim Madigan

Death in A Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (1992) by Scott Ellsworth

Events of the Tulsa Race Riot Disaster (1922) by Mary E. Jones Parrish

History of Governor Walton's War on the Ku Klux Klan (1923) by Howard Tucker (Full Book Available Online)

Hush, Somebody's Callin' My Name: A Photographic Essay of Survival, Resilience and Perseverance (2008) by Don Thompson

My Life and An Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin (1997) by Buck Colbert Franklin

Reconstructing the Dreamland The Tulsa Riot of 1921: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation (2002) by Alfred Brophy

Riot and Remembrance: The Tulsa Race War and Its Legacy (2002) by James Hirsch

Riot on Greenwood: The Total Destruction of Black Wall Street, 1921 (2003) by Eddie Faye Gates

Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District (2014) by Hannibal Johnson

The Tulsa Race Riot (1946) by Loren Gill

The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921: The Politics of Lawlessness (1996) by Majorie Ann Tracy

The Tulsa Race War of 1921 (1975) by R. Halliburton

Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples With Its Historical Racial Trauma Paperback (2020) by Hannibal Johnson

Tulsa, 1921: Reporting a Massacre (2019) by Randy Krehbiel

  • Newsletters

Run It Back: Learn the Story of Black Wall Street by Victor Luckerson 

  • Documentaries

Coming in 2021

1. LeBron James' Spring Hill will produce a documentary with Bad Rap's Salima Koroma directing.
2. Dream Hampton, who exec produced Surviving R. Kelly, is planning a miniseries titled Black Wall Street with Cineflix Productions.
3. Russell Westbrook, another NBA superstar, partnered with production house Blackfin for a docuseries titled Terror in Tulsa: The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street, to be directed by Stanley Nelson, the filmmaker behind Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool.
4. National Geographic special: New documentary from filmmaker Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Good Trouble, The Way I See It). Tentatively titled Red Summer.
5. New documentary, Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten, premieres Monday, May 31 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org and the PBS Video app.

  • Videos

In Search of History: The Night Tulsa Burned
from The History Channel, Feb. 19, 1999

Tulsa Race Riot (Massacre) Commission Interviews Tape 1 
from the Oklahoma Historical Society

  • Podcasts

Soul of a Nation - Tulsa's Buried Truth
from ABC News, April 6, 2021

tulsas-buried-truth (1).jpeg

American History Tellers: Tulsa Race Massacre
from Wondery, May 29, 2019