June 2, 2021
On Saturday, June 12, at 1:30 p.m. the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) will host "Legacy of the Tulsa Race Massacre," a roundtable discussion on how race relations developed in Oklahoma after one of the state’s most horrific events, the Tulsa Race Massacre. The panel will present several perspectives that represent different aspects of the state’s Black community. This conversation will take place at the Oklahoma History Center, and limited seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Moderated by J. D. Baker, special assistant to Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, the panel will include Brenda Nails-Alford, who will share her family’s story of surviving the Tulsa Race Massacre; Oklahoma State University professor Dr. Brandy Thomas Wells, who will provide historic context for and ramifications of the massacre; and Reverend Dr. Robert Turner of historic Vernon Chapel A. M. E. Church, who will give the perspective of a community leader in Tulsa.  

This roundtable discussion is sponsored by the OHS’s Black Heritage Committee and the Oklahoma History Center Education Department. For more information about the event, please call 405-522-6676.

Tulsa Race Massacre, May 31–June 1, 1921 (P2012.184.08, LaQuita Headley Collection, OHS)
Brenda Nails-Alford is a lifelong Tulsan, graduating from the Booker T. Washington High School and the University of Tulsa. She has been employed with the State of Oklahoma’s Department of Labor and currently works with CareerTech of Oklahoma. 

Nails-Alford is the proud granddaughter of 1921 Race Massacre survivors and Black Wall Street entrepreneurs. She serves on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Commission, Tulsa Race Massacre Commemorative Grant Program Committee, Greenwood Heritage Citizens' Advisory Committee, and chairs the City of Tulsa's Public Oversight Committee for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation. She is honored to serve in these capacities to raise awareness of the history of Greenwood’s Black Wall Street and bring some sense of justice and healing to a community that suffered greatly.
Dr. Brandy Thomas Wells earned her PhD at Ohio State University and is a professor of history at Oklahoma State University. She is currently preparing a book manuscript that analyzes African American women’s international interests and activities from the 1890s through the 1960s. Her work illuminates how members of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs and the National Council of Negro Women pursued anti-colonial and anti-imperialist agendas, and how they communicated, cooperated, and competed in the overall quest for civil and human rights. Dr. Wells’s essays have appeared in the journal Origins and the collection Women and Modern Empire, 1840 to the Present.
Reverend Dr. Robert Turner is the pastor of the historic Vernon Chapel A. M. E. Church in Tulsa. He is also the academic dean for Jackson Theological Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas. Turner is on several boards and involved in many other organizations in Tulsa, including the American Village, Crutcher Foundation, and the North Tulsa Task Force. Since coming to Tulsa in 2017 he has become a tireless advocate for Greenwood. Through his leadership, the Vernon Chapel A. M. E. Church has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.     
J. D. Baker serves as the special assistant to Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. He is a sixth-generation Oklahoma City resident who graduated from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a bachelor of arts in public relations. While at OU, he received the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies Leadership Award. Along with his position in the mayor’s office, Baker serves on the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce. He was recently recognized in the top five of Oklahoma City’s "Most Powerful Young Professionals" by OKC Friday newspaper for the second year in a row.
To commemorate the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, OKPOP and the Greenwood Cultural Center are partnering to host a panel discussion focusing on the award-winning Bitter Root comic book series TONIGHT from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The panelists will include the writers, artist, and editor of Bitter Root, published by Image Comics.

The program will open with words from Dr. Stevie Johnson, educator with the Bob Dylan Archive, and Mechelle Brown, program director for the Greenwood Cultural Center. The event is free and open to the public. As a limited number of spots will be available for in-person attendance, we strongly recommend attending online. To reserve an in-person seat, please call Mechelle Brown at 918-596-1026. To register for online access, please click here. Visit www.okpop.org or follow OKPOP on Facebook for more details.
Bitter Root is releasing a special Juneteenth variant cover!

A historical marker, the first of its kind to recount a summary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, has been placed near the Vernon Chapel A. M. E. Church in Tulsa. The marker is located at the corner of Greenwood Avenue and East Cameron Street. The once embattled church building has the only surviving foundation of the devastation, which included the destruction of 36 city blocks during the massacre in 1921.

The marker is a project of the Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition and the Equal Justice Initiative based in Montgomery, Alabama. The two are working together to create an outdoor memorial to the victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Additional remembrance projects of the two groups include soil collection at Tulsa-area lynching sites to honor victims of racial violence and an essay contest for Tulsa area high school students.

The official unveiling of the new museum Greenwood Rising will take place today, June 2, at 11:29 a.m. Greenwood Rising is a state-of-the-art history center located at the heart of Tulsa's Greenwood District, and honors the legacy of Black Wall Street before and after the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.

The 1921 Tulsa Massacre historical marker and Greenwood Rising images courtesy of the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.
OHS updates COVID-19 safety measures

Per CDC guidance, we recommend that visitors who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination wear face masks and maintain social distancing in indoor public areas. All visitors, staff, volunteers, contractors, and vendors should continue to use appropriate handwashing techniques.

We ask that you avoid visiting OHS museums, sites, and affiliates if you have COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms, have a fever, or are otherwise feeling sick or unwell.
Click event listings below for more information.

23 - Oklahoma Historical Society Executive Committee meeting, Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City

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Photograph of African Americans with arms raised surrounded by armed whites during the Tulsa Race Massacre, June 1921 (16946, Oklahoma Historical Society Photograph Collection, OHS)