Additional Readings & Resources

Bibliography of suggested resources w/ selected annotations

Books / Articles – publication dates range from 1982 – 2021

Ellsworth, Scott., The Groundbreaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice, Dutton, 2021.

Ellsworth, Scott, Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, Louisiana State University Press, 1982.

Franklin, Buck C., My Life and an Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin, Louisiana State University Press, 1997.

The autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin provides a detailed and expansive historical view of B.C. Franklin’s life and times, professionally and personally. Through this work, readers gain a more in-depth view of B.C. Franklin as a pioneer and as a principal figure connected to Tulsa’s history. Additionally, it is an important text to understanding how his influence, work, and legacy remained and expanded well beyond Tulsa, Ok.

Gates, Eddie Faye, They Came Searching: How Blacks Sought the Promised Land in Tulsa, Eakin Press, 1997.

Gates, Eddie Faye, Riot on Greenwood: The Total Destruction of Black Wall Street 1921, Eakin Press, 2003.

Hill, Karlos., The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History, University of Oklahoma Press, 2021.

Hill presents a stunning and graphic compilation of photographs from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Readers might find the images difficult to move through. However, the truth, as represented in each photo, is revealed in a way that gives readers an undeniable glimpse into the events of 1921, before, during and after the race massacre.. From the publisher: OU Press, “At once captivating and disturbing, it will embolden readers to confront the uncomfortable legacy of racial violence in U.S. history.” The images have a deep and far-reaching purpose in representing the story of Tulsa’s Greenwood.

Johnson, Hannibal B., Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood, Eakin Press, 1998.

Johnson, Hannibal B., Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District, Arcadia Publishing, 2014.

Johnson, Hannibal B., Black Wall Street 100–An American City Grapples with Its Historical Racial Trauma, Eakin Press, 2020.

One of several texts emerging during the 100-year commemoration of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, readers are guided through a rich and detailed history of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street and the 1921 events of the race massacre. Here, though, the content connects to a deeper understanding of how that history defines, shapes, and illuminates the path to what the author notes as “regeneration” and “renaissance” moving forward to a “new day”. The text includes photographic images and a photographic exposition of Tulsa’s Greenwood District. The final appendix is a 48-page curriculum guide recommended for grades 8-12+. Readers will find that understanding the history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre requires a critical shift to focus on how a community has evolved and continues to evolve post-1921.

Little, Mabel B., with Hare, N. H. and Hare, J. H., (2nd printing), Fire on Mount Zion: My Life and History as a Black Woman in America, Melvin B. Tolson Black Heritage Center, Langston University, 2018.

This text captures the life story of Mabel B. Little, a significant figure connected to Tulsa’s Greenwood. The text begins with Little’s first-hand account of the events of 1921 and moves through several chapters that illuminate Little’s life. Little notes writing accounts of her life at the age of 93. She introduces one chapter with, “We forget too soon. We cast off our ancestors and our heroes and forget our enemies as a people. Sometimes it seems we have permanent amnesia” (p. 89).

Madigan, Tim., The Burning: The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2021.

Another work published during the Centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Madigan provides poignant accounts told through the lens of survivors and witnesses who experienced events of the massacre first hand. According to the author, stories are supplemented by newspaper accounts and legal documents consulted during his research. Madgan positions himself as an unlikely candidate for this work but presents details of the “burning” that move through the depths of a community and a people not defined by the events but by determination and resilience. As with any text positioned in historical detail, the reading is potentially dense at times. However, the author is careful to illuminate the voices of the survivors and witnesses as the principal focus for the text.

Moreno, Carlos., The Victory of Greenwood, Jenkin Lloyd Jones, 2021.

This text offers a detailed perspective of the stories connected to Tulsa’s Greenwood and the events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. In Moreno’s words, “This isn’t a book about the massacre.” The accounts highlight people and places significant to Tulsa’s Greenwood and shifts the scope beyond the tragic events of 1921. Moreno challenges readers to, “begin a new conversation about Greenwood.” Through the richness of Moreno’s writing, readers can connect these stories to the community forever changed by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. But they also walk away with a call to remember and to celebrate the spirit of Tulsa’s historic Greenwood, past, present, and future.

Link to site:

Parrish, Jones Mary E., The Nation Must Awake: My Witness to the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, Trinity University Press, 2021.

This text is described as a compilation of the eyewitness accounts of Mary E. Jones Parrish. It includes colorful cover art, introductions by John Hope Franklin and Scott Ellsworth and an afterword by Anneliese Bruner, great granddaughter to Mary Parrish. The content is drawn from Parrish’s account previously published under the title, Events of the Tulsa Disaster. The cover art, by artist Ajamu Kojo, lends a colorful appeal to the text and perspectives from John Hope Franklin, Scott Ellsworth, and Anneliese Bruner draw the reader into the text, adding background and historical narrative for the reader to consider. The reader might find it easy to move through the text with respect to its organization and readability. Potentially, this also makes it more accessible for classroom use. Unlike the 2016 printing of Events of the Tulsa Disaster, there are limited images or photos included in this text.

Tulsa Race Riot: A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, Feb. 2011, CreateSpace Independent Publishing,

Those familiar with the report will find this a useful text outlining the impact of the Commission, why it was formed, and how its findings lent a more in-depth element into understanding the events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre (then most widely known as a “riot”.) Published 90 years after the Race Massacre, the report is framed within the 1997 House Joint Resolution No. 1035. The report includes multiple sections outlining investigations into areas such as confirmed deaths, location of potential mass graves, and riot property loss. The text is dense with facts and notes the scope of the Commission’s authority, what they were purposed to do, and what was not within the scope of their work. This is potentially helpful for those wanting a more linear view of the Commission’s findings and an overview of details related to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that became more widely known through the Commission’s work.


Johnson, Hannibal B., “The Ghosts of Greenwood Past: A Walk Down Black Wall Street”, May 11, 2009, Retrieved February 25, 2018 from

This web-based article, housed on Hannibal Johnson’s site, offers a concise but detailed look at the events of 1921 and the Tulsa Race Massacre. The article begins with a historical perspective of 1921 and the people and places that defined Tulsa’s Greenwood district. For those wanting a defined view of Greenwood in a brief and accessible text, the writing illuminates the movement of a community that honors its strength and resilience.

Moreno, Carlos.,” Greenwood: ‘Renewal’”, May 3, 2021, Retrieved October 17, 2022 from

As Tulsa’s Greenwood has a history, it also has a defined path toward efforts to rebuild, reshape, and revitalize its strength as a vibrant and prosperous community. The article follows a post-1921 timeline (from the 1950’s to present) documenting efforts that have both helped and hindered the path to progress. Moreno captures elements of the people who lived and moved (and many who still live and move) through the most significant points of Greenwood’s “renewal”. The author chronicles the prosperity and successes, as well as the failed decisions and detrimental policy-making that continue to shape the story of Tulsa’s Greenwood. Here readers will find an even deeper layer to understanding the people of Greenwood.

Moreno, Carlos, “Greenwood’s Difficult Rebirth”, June 4, 2020, Retrieved October 16, 2022 from


“Confronting the Past”, Sidedoor, episode 3, 2016, Smithsonian Institution, Retrieved July 11, 2022 from

The podcast housed on the Smithsonian Institution web page explores events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The podcast features a series of interviews that include Dr. Olivia Hooker, John W. Franklin, and others. The speakers provide an overview of Tulsa’s Greenwood, events leading up to 1921 and a historical perspective that invites listeners to confront the past and consider the far-reaching effects of how the story of 1921 was for so long (In John W. Franklin’s words) “hidden and suppressed” and a “silent part of Tulsa’s history”. The page also links to artifacts and information held by the National Museum of African American History and Culture. (Listeners may also download a transcript of the podcast.)

Moreno, Carlos, “The Battle for Greenwood: Street Fight”, episode 1, October 5, 2021, Retrieved October 16, 2022 from

Additional Resource List – To consider based on interest/ need

African American Resource Center at Rudisill Library – Tulsa City County Library

Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Exhibit site –

The site focuses on capturing and commemorating events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, “…with education, empathy, and healing.” Online items are part of an on-site exhibit housed at the TCCL Rudisill branch. The site reflects events connected to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial and are sectioned by Black Wall Street, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and After the Massacre.

Teacher Kits for Teaching the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre – Kits are currently housed at the TCCL Rudisill branch for in-library use. Information related to the teacher kits is also linked on the JHFC curriculum resource portal.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Link to objects held by the Museum – Tulsa Objects in the NMAAHC Collection

retrieved 5 October 2022

This link connects to the overview of objects held by the NMAAHC Museum.

The site not only explores events of the 1921 Massacre but links to information related to other events around the country contributing to America’s racial climate. Additionally, the site highlights the richness of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, the Greenwood District, and the legacy that continues post-1921.

An overview from the Museum’s page:

The National Museum of African American History and Culture collects materials to help fill the silences in our nation’s memory around events such as the Tulsa Race Massacre and its reverberations, preserving and sharing wider stories of Black communities in Oklahoma, and centering the testimonies of survivors and their descendants.

Carlson, I. Marc, Tulsa 1921 Photos, Special Collections, Accessed August 1, 2022,

The site contains various photos from the 1921 Race Massacre, noted as contributed to the site by I. Marc Carlson. Items are categorized as collections from the Tulsa Star, Tulsa Tribune, Tulsa Daily World, postcards, Events of the Tulsa Disaster, and the Chicago Tribune. Many of the photos are credited as public domain or copyrighted to I. Marc Carlson. The site is noted to be developed by Carlson based on his research.

Oklahoma Senate Bill One, Oklahoma Historical Society, Retrieved August 26, 2022 from

Oklahoma’s first senate bill instituted Jim Crow in Oklahoma. The bill allowed all urban/suburban railways to assign separate compartments for passengers based on race, with significant penalties for non-compliance. This bill set the tone for events that would further emphasize the division in race relations and the proliferation of Jim Crow laws within the state of Oklahoma. This information is helpful for understanding the racial climate during this time and elements that precipitated events of 1921 and beyond.

Smithsonian Institution, Link to Search page for Resources on the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, Retrieved September 2022 from

An initial search of the site for “1921 Tulsa Race Massacre” links to a collection of related images, related media/ video, and additional items available for viewing through the museum site. (Consider reviewing the more expansive collection housed through the National Museum of African American History and Culture)

Ruth Sigler Avery Collection – housed at Oklahoma State University (OSU) Tulsa Library

  • The series includes documents and files such as newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, correspondence, original documents (such as the American Red Cross’ 1921 report of relief efforts) and other items from Sigler Avery’s personal collection.
  • The items may be reviewed on site with the aid of finding documents listing the contents of the collection. The materials are divided as Series 1 – Tulsa Race Riot, [ Series 2 – Personal Archive, Route 66 – Ephemera. ]
  • Some of the photos/images from the Ruth Sigler Avery collection are digitized for viewing on the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Library site. [Online access may be limited to users with a current library log in]

Suggested uses for Museum sites/ Library Collections:

Educators – Generally, educators may find these sites helpful for locating history-related content (videos, photographs, interviews, historical documents, links to related sites and content). Educators who are unable to visit on-site exhibits, will find the sites are useful tools for locating records for items held within the system or site (i.e., the library or museum holdings.)

Educators might guide students through the basics of conducting (online) searches, accessing databases, conducting basic research, and searching through archives to understand people, places/events connected to Tulsa-related history, historic Greenwood, and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Community (Leaders/Partners) – These sites connect the audience to a knowledge base that explores facts related to the 1921 Race Massacre moving through specific timelines that extend beyond 1921. In reviewing items beyond 1921, one goal might be to explore more recent information posted/ published post 1921 that lend a wider view of the diversity of Tulsa, historic Greenwood, and/or Tulsa-related history.

Additional Notes for Consideration:

Considering Allies/Allyship: One aspect of reviewing and engaging with content related to race-related topics is how the concept of “allyship” factors into the scope of events. It is a complicated term with many layers. A simple definition of “allyship” includes the status or role of a person who advocates and actively works for the inclusion of a marginalized or politicized group in all areas of society, not as a member of that group but in solidarity with its struggle and point of view and under its leadership (

“106 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” Retrieved 11 July 2022

*This document was created through a collaboration between two Tulsa Community College faculty and The John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation. Any individual views or perspectives expressed do not necessarily reflect those of either institution. Educators may freely use these documents and adapt any resource to meet the needs of their students.