Historical Documents – Articles, Magazines, Accounts, etc.

Magazine Articles

Much of what we know about the 1921 Tulsa Race (Riot) Massacre springs from historical records, documents, artifacts, and personal accounts of survivors. The lives of those connected to 1921 speak beyond the atrocities of what took place during the Tulsa Race Massacre. There are also pioneers who established a presence within Tulsa’s Greenwood District and contributed to the vitality of Black Wall Street of 1921 and beyond.

Reading of Historical Documents

When reading historical sources, such as magazines and newspapers, readers have the opportunity to examine the cultural activities that were going on in the contemporary periods in which the publication occurred, so readers should review other stories in the same publication that help provide context to the values and events that influenced thinking and behavior. The details provided within the stories also give helpful information to know specific names, time frames, and locations to compare other accounts of similar stories or events.

Sample documents show how historical documents give context to the times of Greenwood as a community influenced by the broader Tulsa, Oklahoma, setting.

From the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

Letter from Buck Colbert Franklin – First Hand Account of the Race Massacre

From Oklahoma State University Writing Project – Greenwood Race Massacre Resources

From Newspapers, Magazines, and Journals

Miscellaneous Artifacts of Interest

Sample Guide – To Accompany Reading Articles / Newspapers / Journals

Reading Suggestions:

Begin by reading the story or account with a critical approach to improve your understanding of content.

Consider this guiding approach for questioning:

​Before You Read:

  • Look at the title of the piece of writing to get an idea about the subject matter.
  • Think about what you already know about the topic from other sources.
  • Think about your purpose for reading.
  • Skim the piece of writing to help you select appropriate reading strategies for the specific piece.

While You Read:

  • Focus your attention on the piece of writing.
  • Use context clues to help you understand unfamiliar words and terminology.
  • Pick out main ideas.
  • Think about how the details and facts provided relate back to the main ideas.
  • Distinguish between facts and opinions.
  • When appropriate, make observations about how both facts and opinions are used in the article to support an argument.
  • Ask yourself what inferences are being made in the piece of writing.
  • Pay attention to the tone of the piece of writing.

After You Read:

  • Reflect on what you have read.
  • Summarize what you learned from your reading.
  • Ask yourself what questions you have as a result of your reading.
  • Seek additional information about the topic and your questions from reliable/expert sources.

As you read through magazines/articles, use the following questions to guide your reading process:

Before I Read:

  1. Based on the title, I thought the piece of writing was about….
  2. Some things I already know about this topic are….
  3. My purpose for reading this article was….
  4. After I skimmed the article, some strategies I decided to use when I read it were….

While I Read:

  1. The unfamiliar words/terms I encountered are listed below along with what I think each word meant in the article.
  2. The main idea(s) of the article are listed below.
  3. Important details and facts I found to support these main ideas were…
  4. Opinions that were used in the article included…
  5. Ways that facts and opinions were used to support an idea or argument were…
  6. Inferences made in the articles included…
  7. The tone of this piece of writing suggested…

After I Read:

  1. I had the following thoughts/reflections about the piece of writing…
  2. I could summarize this piece of writing by saying…
  3. The questions I had about this topic after reading this piece of writing were…
  4. Some other sources I could use to learn more about the topic or my questions could include…