A recording of this event will be available on Livestream through June 1.
The Community Library and Idaho Humanities Council welcome Hannibal B. Johnson, author of Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples With Its Historical Racial Trauma, for a conversation about the history and continuing implications of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Johnson will be in conversation with David Pettyjohn, executive director of the Idaho Humanities Council, and Jenny Emery Davidson, executive director of The Community Library.
On May 31, 1921, a white mob attacked the predominantly Black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tensions among white Tulsans had been running high over Greenwood, home of the thriving business district referred to as the Black Wall Street, even before the events leading up to May 31. Over the course of eighteen hours, hundreds of Black citizens were killed, thousands were left homeless, and black-owned businesses including two newspapers, a school, a hospital, churches, hotels, and stores were destroyed or damaged by fire. The event is one of the deadliest riots and worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history, and has remained one of the least known.
Hannibal B. Johnson, a Harvard Law School graduate, is an author, attorney, and consultant. He has taught at The University of Tulsa College of Law, Oklahoma State University, and The University of Oklahoma. Johnson serves on numerous boards and commissions, including the Federal 400 Years of African-American History Commission and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. His books, including Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples With Its Historical Racial Trauma, chronicle the African American experience in Oklahoma and its indelible impact on American history. Johnson’s play, Big Mama Speaks—A Tulsa Race Riot Survivor’s Story, was selected for the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival and has been staged in Caux, Switzerland. He has received numerous honors and awards for his work and community service.