Remembering the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921

June 01, 2021


For the hundreds of lives lost; 
For the decades of successes they built;
For the thousands left behind who carried the pain;
And for a century of opportunity erased.

The Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission honors the hundreds of Black Americans who were murdered in the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 31 and June 1, 1921.

We recognize the livelihoods lost when over 1200 homes were burned to the ground, and businesses—groceries, hotels, theatres, churches, nightclubs, newspapers, barbershops, restaurants, professional and medical offices, drug stores, confectionaries—were destroyed. The futures of generations were changed forever as a result of the 35-block destruction that day. Greenwood and the Greenwood Business District, also known as Black Wall Street, has never recovered.

It is impossible to capture the enormity of the events that took place in the single 24-hour massacre at Tulsa a century ago. Instead, we offer you a list of resources about the events of that day; the cover-up and the uncovering; the legacy and lasting consequences for African Americans; new literature; and the harrowing report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, published in 2001.


Tulsa Race Riot: A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921

Tulsa Historical Society and Museum

Tulsa Race Massacre: Newspaper Complicity and Coverage
Library of Congress

1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission

In the News:

Viola Fletcher, 107, and her brother Hughes Van Ellis, 100, the last survivors of the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, testify before a House committee in May 2021

What the Tulsa Race Massacre Destroyed: A New York Times Interactive

Black Wall Street was shattered 100 years ago. How the Tulsa race massacre was covered up and unearthed.

Where Did Images of the Tulsa Race Massacre Come From?

Once overlooked in classrooms, Tulsa race massacre now seen as 'important' lesson in Oklahoma schools

In Pictures: The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre 

Books published in 2021
Available at the Louisville Free Public Library

Adult Nonfiction: 
The Ground Breaking: An American City and its Search for Justice, by Scott Ellsworth

Young Adult Fiction: 
Angel of Greenwood, by Randi Pink

Children’s Nonfiction: 
Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, by Carole Boston Weatherford


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