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Tulsa Race Massacre Symposium Sessions Available on YouTube

Tulsa Race Massacre Symposium Sessions Available on YouTube

Reflecting on the past | Facing the future TRM Symposium text logo

If you weren’t able to catch all of the sessions from OU’s recent Tulsa Race Massacre Symposium, videos of each session have been posted on YouTube.

To view archived videos of all symposium events, click here.

Earlier this month, the University of Oklahoma hosted a three-day symposium to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the deadliest acts of anti-Black violence in American history.

Themed “Reflecting on the Past, Facing the Future,” the symposium featured a variety of in-person and virtual events, including keynote presentations, plenary talks and a premiere performance by the OU School of Dance.

The symposium capped off a yearlong initiative across the university to educate and to provide the community an opportunity to reflect on the upcoming centennial.

“This year marks the 100-year anniversary of one of the most horrific tragedies in our nation’s history, which regrettably took place in our own state,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “It is our hope that this symposium inspires reflection and meaningful dialogue – critical steps that will help foster an inclusive culture on our campus and in our communities.”


Summary of Symposium Events

Thursday, April 8

The symposium began with an opening ceremony, followed by three panel discussions featuring a number of authors, scholars, and OU students and faculty. Karlos Hill, Kalenda Eaton and Daniel Simon – members of the university’s Centennial Coordinating Committee – each chaired one of the sessions.

Friday, April 9

On the second day of the symposium, two-term U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith presented the symposium’s keynote talk, and a panel discussion covered the theme of memorialization and the Tulsa mass graves investigation. Two plenary talks were delivered by Scott Ellsworth and Hannibal B. Johnson, both of whom have written extensively on the Tulsa Race Massacre and Tulsa’s Greenwood District.

Friday also saw the premiere of I Dream of Greenwood, a dance film choreographed by Haitian-American artist, producer, writer and OU School of Dance lecturer Marie Casimir and OU School of Dance graduate student J’aime Griffith and based on eyewitness testimonies by massacre survivors who were children in 1921. Those testimonies were included in a curriculum packet for 10th grade English teachers from the Norman Public Schools, whose students attended the premiere and participated in a talkback afterward with Tracy K. Smith and members of the creative team.

Saturday, April 10

To conclude the symposium, Smith led a virtual craft talk for writers at OSU-Tulsa’s Center for Poets and Writers, and authors and artists shared readings from World Literature Today’s spring 2021 issue, “Redreaming Dreamland,” in Tulsa’s Greenwood District at Fulton Street Books. “Redreaming Dreamland” reflects on 1921 and African American multicultural vitality in the 21st century and features internationally renowned writers as well as authors from Oklahoma.

For a detailed listing of all symposium events and speakers, visit


Article Published:  Wednesday, April 21, 2021