Skip Navigation

Spring Events Planned as Part of Ongoing Initiative to Commemorate the Tulsa Race Massacre

Spring Events Planned as Part of Ongoing Initiative to Commemorate the Tulsa Race Massacre

Archive photo group gathered outside a courthouse in Tulsa

Men being led into Convention Hall located at 101 West Brady Street for internment during the Tulsa Race Massacre on June 1, 1921. Image Credit: Tulsa Historical Society and Museum

The Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Coordinating Committee is continuing its yearlong initiative to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the massacre with events scheduled for the spring semester.

The committee, led by professors Kalenda Eaton and Karlos Hill of the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies, along with Daniel Simon, assistant director and editor-in-chief of World Literature Today, began the initiative last year to provide relevant programming and engage the ongoing university-wide conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We hope faculty and staff from the Norman, OU-Tulsa and OUHSC campuses consider ways they can design small events that involve teaching, research, creative activity and/or community engagement relevant to the centennial and its contexts,” said Eaton.

Several commemoration projects have already been planned for the spring semester on OU’s Norman and Tulsa campuses.

Norman Campus

Presidential Dream Course: “The Tulsa Massacre: 100 Years Later”

Hill, along with professors Rilla Askew (English), Meta Carstarphen (Journalism) and John Stewart (Digital Learning), are offering a Presidential Dream Course that will draw upon different yet complementary areas of experience to offer students an innovative, multi-perspective and cross-disciplinary understanding of the Tulsa Race Massacre and its aftermath. Through lectures, readings, exploratory writing, in-class discussions and guest speakers, this course will help students develop an appreciation for the centrality of the Black experience to Oklahoma history, culture and media; come to understand the scope and impact of racism and racial violence in Oklahoma’s story; and examine our collective and individual responses to the massacre as we live out its legacy 100 years later.

The course will also include a series of public lectures by New York Times bestselling author Scott Ellsworth on Feb. 23, NPR’s first full-time TV critic Eric Deggans on March 23, and American poet, book editor, civil rights historian and professor Quraysh Ali Lansana on April 13.

Students may enroll in the dream course by following the same process for enrolling in other courses. Additional participation information can be found at

Launch of “The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History”

In March, the University of Oklahoma Press will launch The Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History. The book, written by Hill, will present and compare photographs taken before, during and after the massacre to those taken of other U.S. lynchings, shining a light on the important legacy of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

Reparations and the Tulsa Race Massacre

Noon-1:30 p.m. | Tuesday, March 2 | Zoom

The OU College of Law will host “Reparations and the Tulsa Race Massacre,” a virtual event moderated by Hill and featuring three panelists – Ife Williams, Delaware County Community College professor; Bruce Fisher, Oklahoma Historical Society Administrative Program Officer and son of civil rights trailblazer Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher; and Dreisen Heath, Human Rights Watch assistant researcher and advocate – who will discuss reparations and the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre. For more information, contact professor Melissa Mortazavi.


COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community Town Hall

7-8 p.m. | Wednesday, Feb. 10 | Zoom

OU-Tulsa, in partnership with Friendship Church, OU Health Physicians and Westview Pediatrics, will host “COVID-19 and the Black Community Town Hall.” During the virtual event, Dr. Barney Graham, deputy director of the National Institutes of Health, and other local physicians and health professionals, will answer common questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to join.

Book Drive

Throughout the month of February, donate new or gently used children’s books (Pre-K – 5th grade) to the OU-Tulsa Book Drive. Donation boxes are located across campus, and all books will be donated to an elementary school within the Tulsa Public School District. Individuals can also purchase books from the OU-Tulsa Book Drive Amazon list to donate.

Other Upcoming Projects

Additional commemoration projects for the spring semester will include student-led events about the massacre during Black History Month, panel discussions as part of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s Diversity and Justice Scholarship series, the launch of World Literature Today’s spring issue dedicated to the centennial, and a symposium in April that will include a keynote presentation by recent U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, a performance co-sponsored by the OU School of Dance, plenary talks and panels.

For more information about upcoming events, visit

Article Published:  Wednesday, January 27, 2021