Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Tulsa Race Massacre Discussion to be Livestreamed
Monday, May 24, 2021


It was one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the United States, yet it remained largely unknown until May 2020 when the former President proposed to hold a campaign stop in Tulsa on the anniversary of the massacre.

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre began after a young Black man was falsely accused of assaulting a white woman on an elevator when a second lurch caused the two to bump each other. Within hours, white men, who reportedly had been envious at the Blacks’ success in transforming their affluent neighborhood of Greenwood into America’s “Black Wall Street,” killed more than 300 Black citizens and burned hundreds of homes and business to the ground, including two newspapers, a school, hospital, churches, hotels and stores.

One survivor, who just turned 107, recounted for Congress this week about watching airplanes overhead. Some believe the airplanes dropped flaming balls and bullets on the buildings below. Others think they were surveying the activities below.

Charges against the young man on the elevator, whom everyone thought would be lynched, had his charges dismissed.

Hannibal B. Johnson, author of “Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples with its Historical Racial Trauma,” will discuss the Tulsa Race Massacre at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 25, via The Community Library’s Livestream.

Joining him in conversation will be Library Director Jenny Emery Davidson and David Pettyjohn, executive director of the Idaho Humanities Council.

To register for the free event, visit https://www.comlib.org/event/tulsa-1921/. The event also will be recorded and available to watch until June 1.

Hannibal B. Johnson, a Harvard Law School graduate, is an author, attorney, and consultant. He has taught at The University of Tulsa College of Law, Oklahoma State University, and The University of Oklahoma.

Johnson serves on numerous boards and commissions, including the Federal 400 Years of African-American History Commission and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. His books, including Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples With Its Historical Racial Trauma, chronicle the African American experience in Oklahoma and its indelible impact on American history. Johnson’s play, Big Mama Speaks—A Tulsa Race Riot Survivor’s Story, was selected for the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival and has been staged in Caux, Switzerland.


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