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MLK Lecture: The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: Lessons and Legacies

January 20, 2022


In 1921, Tulsa’s Greenwood District “Black Wall Street” was one of the most affluent black communities in America. However, on May 31 and June 1, 1921, a white mob attacked Greenwood and as a result nearly every significant structure within the community was destroyed and as many of three hundred people were killed. Nearly one hundred years later, the race massacre continues to reverberate. Dr. Hill’s presentation will discuss the history of the race massacre, the lessons the history offers, and the current-day legacies that must be confronted.

Karlos Hill photo

Dr. Karlos K. Hill is Regents’ Professor and Chair of the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma, and the author of three books: Beyond The Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory, The Murder of Emmett Till: A Graphic History, and The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History. Dr. Hill founded the Tulsa Race Massacre Oklahoma Teacher’s Institute to support teaching the history of the race massacre to thousands of middle school and high school students. He also serves on the boards of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, the Clara Luper Legacy Committee and the Board of Scholars for Facing History and Ourselves. Dr. Hill writes a regular interview series for The Nation featuring the stories and work of community activists organizing for justice in Black communities.

Sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio, Luther’s Identity Studies program, and the Lawrence and Queen Williams Endowment.

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