Tulsa City-County Library to Commemorate the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial with Events

Courtesy Tulsa City-County Library

GTR Media Group photo
HISTORIC REMEMBRANCE: This couple toured Tulsa’s Greenwood District recently and learned the area’s history from this historical landmark located next to the Vernon AME Church at 311 N. Greenwood Ave.

To commemorate the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Tulsa City-County Library (TCCL) is hosting author events, panel discussions, a curated exhibit titled “TCCL Remembers – Commemorating Tulsa’s Race Massacre with Education, Empathy and Healing,” and more leading up to the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial in May. Beginning in February, a variety of virtual programs are scheduled to educate and promote healing and empathy by increasing historical and political awareness of Tulsa’s history. Local and national community members will be invited to participate in these virtual programs. 
The purpose of these events is to foster education about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by making materials and resources accessible to children and adults in Tulsa County and beyond, to build empathy by compelling audiences to reflect on the human cost of institutionalized racism, and to promote healing through sharing the stories of Tulsa Race Massacre survivors with a mainstream audience. The TCCL Remembers exhibit, which is set to open in April and will be housed at the Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N. Hartford, 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’s African-American Resource Center has specialized collections of materials about the Race Massacre, from first-hand accounts to primary newspaper clippings and original photographs, that will be used in many programs as well as the exhibit. Other TCCL-owned resources, including databases and collection items, will help make these events accessible to a broad and diverse audience.  
Community Read Event: “Black Wall Street 100: Live Interview With Author Hannibal B. Johnson” Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. on Zoom. An expert and scholar on the history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, author Hannibal B. Johnson will speak about his newest book, “Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples With Its Historical Racial Trauma,” followed by a Q&A.  Nearly 100 years later, Johnson addresses the psychological and historical trauma left by the devastation of the massacre and the resilience of the extraordinary entrepreneurs of the ‘20s and those who carry on the legacy today. “Black Wall Street 100” is endorsed by the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission and the 400 Years of African American History Commission. Register online at www.tulsalibrary.org/events or email register@tulsalibrary.org to receive a Zoom invite for this event. 
“African American Heritage Bowl” Monday, Feb. 25, 6-7 p.m. This year’s bowl is virtual and will take place via Zoom and Kahoot! It is open to all junior high and high school students and community groups interested in learning about the horrific events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Each team can have four members. Each high school and junior high school may register only one team per school. To participate in the bowl, register online atwww.tulsalibrary.org/aarc. A maximum of six copies of the quiz book will be available for pickup at any TCCL regional library for registered school and community team groups. To watch the bowl, register online atwww.tulsalibrary.org/events to receive a Zoom invite for this event. 
Community Read Event: “An Evening with Mira Jacob” Thursday, March 18, 6 p.m. on Zoom. Join author Mira Jacob as she discusses her book “Good Talk,” which has been described as “a bold, wry and intimate graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families and the realities that divide us.” “Good Talk “examines the conversations we have about race, sexuality and love with insight, humor and heart. A Q&A will follow her presentation. Register online at www.tulsalibrary.org/events or email register@tulsalibrary.org to receive a Zoom invite for this event. 
“Unite Tulsa: Empathy, Education and Healing” Thursday, April 8, 7 p.m. on Zoom. We will commemorate the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial by sparking a conversation about race relations in Oklahoma, with particular emphasis on the themes of empathy, education and healing. Join Unite Tulsa for this forum for residents of Tulsa County to share the ways they’re working to make our community a better, more inclusive place to live. Selected speakers will have five minutes to talk about their chosen topic using 20 slides set to auto advance every 15 seconds. Register online at www.tulsalibrary.org/events or email register@tulsalibrary.org to receive a Zoom invite for this event. 
Community Read Event: “Fireside Chat With Author Robin DiAngelo” Thursday, April 22, 6 p.m. on Zoom. New York Times best-selling author Robin DiAngelo joins us to discuss her book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.” Described by author Michael Eric Dyson as a “vital, necessary and beautiful book,” “White Fragility” has played a key role in the growing antiracism movement. DiAngelo examines the way white fragility reinforces racist structures and strives to equip readers with strategies for engaging in constructive cross-racial dialogue. A Q&A will follow. Register online at www.tulsalibrary.org/events or email register@tulsalibrary.org to receive a Zoom invite for this event. 
“Meet Author Jason Reynolds: Winner of Tulsa Library Trust’s 2021 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature” Thursday, May 6 at 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,” which he co-wrote with Brendan Kiely. Reynolds will receive the Zarrow award and speak about his life and works. The Zarrow award is given annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. Its purpose is to give formal recognition, on behalf of the Tulsa County community, to nationally acclaimed authors who have made a significant contribution to the field of literature for children and young adults. Visit www.tulsalibrary.org/zarrowaward for more details. 
Community Read Event: “Friendship Mattered Then! Friendship Matters Now! Presented by Clifton L. Taulbert” Tuesday, May 11 at 6 p.m. on Zoom. For 36 hours in 1921, friendship lost its way. Great harm was done to people and property. Black Wall Street disappeared in billowing clouds of smoke. Dreams were shattered and some forever. According to Clifton L. Taulbert, the embrace of genuine friendship cannot restore the lost past, but it can ensure a different future … one where 1921 will not be repeated and where all are respected, affirmed and included. “Over the past few months of this year, the history of Tulsa 1921 has been revisited as scores of people … writers, young people, dancers, lawyers, movies, books, students and librarians all lending their voices as history to be taught and lessons to be learned. We are all in search for that more perfect union – a way of living together that requires friendship. We must not allow friendship to lose its way,” said Taulbert, author of “Eight Habits of the Heart: Embracing the Values That Build Strong Communities.” Join Taulbert for this enlightening presentation to commemorate the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial. Register online at www.tulsalibrary.org/events or email register@tulsalibrary.org to receive a Zoom invite for this event. 
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.  
For more information about these programs, call the AskUs Hotline, 918-549-7323, or visit the library’s website,www.tulsalibrary.org.