The Tulsa Race Massacre and Black-Native History in Oklahoma

The October 2019 airing of HBO’s show, Watchmen, brought one of the most brutal episodes in American history—the Tulsa Race Massacre—to the attention of millions of people across the United States. In this seminar, we will examine primary sources that deconstruct the massacre and its aftermath through the eyes of those who experienced it. But to truly understand the massacre, one must understand the history of Tulsa: Why did so many African Americans flock to Oklahoma after the Civil War? How were they able to accumulate so much wealth that the district destroyed in the massacre was called “Black Wall Street”? Through an analysis of the Native and Black people who settled this space in the 1830s, you will learn how to teach about this culturally dynamic place in the West and why your students should care about the Tulsa Massacre and its broader context.