The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921

Audio/Video  |  Music  |  'Official' Historical Materials & Reports  |  Web Sites, Papers, & Lengthy Articles  |  News Articles  |  Books  |  Misc. Related Links  |  Other Race Riots

Tulsa Tribune editorial that triggered riot. Source: 60 Minutes II page, below stray factoids
  • Moniker of "Negro Wall Street" coined by Booker T. Washington.
  • 118 living survivors were located and registered by the Commission by the time its mandate expired on Feb. 28, 2001. (A number of others passed away during the course of the 4-year inquiry.) 176 descendents of survivors were also identified.
  • There is surviving film footage. ABC News showed two brief clips in one story ca. 1999 -- there's undoubtedly more.
  • By the end of 1921, KKK membership in Okla. was reportedly greater than in the rest of USA only six months prior. (source: Chalmers, Hooded Americanism)
  • The riot proper lasted about 16 hours. The mob numbered about 2,000 (estimate).
  • The toll (partial!):
    • Between 100 and 300 dead.
    • Entire 35-block Greenwood District essentially levelled.
    • 1,200 homes destroyed
    • 10,000 left homeless
    • Two black newspapers burned to ground: the Tulsa Star and the Oklahoma Sun
    • Dunbar Elementary School destroyed
    • The district's library burned to the ground
    • Six churches destroyed
    • Offices of "more than a dozen" dentists, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals destroyed.

Timeline of the Tulsa Riot

Another general info site re: Tulsa riot -- links, notes from research, etc. A little raw but a good resource.

  • Streaming Video
  • Radio (streaming)
  • Other TV/Cable

    • 60 Minutes II:  "Tulsa Is Burning"
      (Originally broadcast Nov., 1999. Rebroadcast July 10, 2001.) Link has full transcript and a video clip.

    • The Tulsa Lynching of 1921: A Hidden Story (Cinemax, premiered May 31, 2000. Rebroadcast in Feb. 2001. HBO may have run it also.)
      Written, produced and directed by Michael Wilkerson. On camera are nine survivors | 20 were asked, but some were then too afraid. Photographs: over 400 photographs of the period are included in the film. Original cut was 3.5 hours long; final cut for cable was +/- 80 min.
      Barrister Studios
      5800 South Lewis | Tulsa OK 74105
      Tel: 918 742-3266 | Fax: 918 742-3426
      Future web site:

  • Video tapes

    • The Night Tulsa Burned ("In Search of History," The History Channel)
      Videotape of cable documentary. Available and in print (link jumps to product page) -- $19.95 (50 min.)
      Item Number: AAE-42346
      Order by phone: 888-423-1212

    • Black Wallstreet: A Black Holocaust in America! by Ron Wallace
      VHS tape -- $29.95 (also, book by the same title)
      Duralon Entertainment, Inc.,
      P.O. Box 2702, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74149
      or 1-800-682-7975

  • Music (MP3s -- WAVs also available)
    From the American Memory online collection @ Library of Congress


    1920s | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001
    This is a fairly small sampling. I've tried to emphasize items of particular note or interest, but there's a little "junk" in here as well.

    Professor Alfred L. Brophy (prof. of Law) -- see Articles, above
    Oklahoma City University School of Law
    Brophy background info, links, articles @ Univ. of Alabama

  • Barrister Studios (The Tulsa Lynching of 1921: A Hidden Story in A/V above)
    5800 South Lewis | Tulsa OK 74105
    Tel: 918 742-3266 | Fax: 918 742-3426
    Future web site:

  • Greenwood Chamber of Commerce (Tulsa)
    131 North Greenwood
    Tulsa, Oklahoma  74120
    phone: 918/585-2084
       They host an annual Black Wall Street Rodeo, w/ more than 150 Black cowboys and cowgirls from 17 states. Next one scheduled for May 10 & 11, 2002.

  • The Greenwood Cultural Center
    322 N. Greenwood, Tulsa, OK  74120
    Their web site is no longer operating. (Former fomain is now unregistered.)

  • Oklahoma State Capitol Address:
    2300 North Lincoln Boulevard
    State Capitol Building - Room 433
    Oklahoma City, OK 73105
    (580) 557-7374
    Toll-Free In-State Only 1-800-522-8502

  • Oklahoma State Representative District 62
    Abe Deutschendorf
    (one of two Legislative members on the Tulsa Race Riot Commission)
    223 Crystal Hills Drive
    Lawton, Oklahoma 73507

  • North Tulsa Representative District 73
    Don Ross
    (Commission member, co-author of bills for reparations and medals to survivors)

    Capitol Address:
    2300 North Lincoln Boulevard - Room 404
    Oklahoma City, OK 73105
    (405) 557-7406

    District Address:
    P.O. Box 167
    Tulsa, OK 74120
    (918) 582-1741

    Home E-Mail:
    Office E-Mail:


    • Order books from Black Holocaust Society

    • Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921
      by Dr. Scott Ellsworth
      Foreword by John Hope Franklin
      (Louisiana State University Press, 1982)
      order via NetStore USA
      Order via Amazon
      [U.W. Suzzallo/Allen Stacks - F704.T92 E44 ]
      ISBN: 0807108782  |  LCCN: 81006017

    • Angels of Mercy: 1921 Race Riot and the American Red Cross
      by Bob Hower
      (Tulsa, OK: Homestead Press, 1998)
      Their web site is defunct. Yahoo's yellow pages gives the following info for them: 3015 E Admiral Pl, Tulsa, OK  74110    (918) 834-2419
      'Compiled from the memorabilia collection of Maurice Willows, Director of the Red Cross relief effort following the 1921 Riot. In addition to Willows' official "Disaster Relief Report," Angels of Mercy includes eyewitness accounts given by survivors.'
      Order via Amazon

    • Race Riot 1921: Events of the Tulsa Disaster
      Mary Elizabeth Jones Parrish
      Contemporaneous account by a black journalist who witnessed it all. Rare and important.
      $14.95 + $3.00 shipping from Ms. Eddie Faye Gates (a commission member)
      For order enquiries, email
      ISBN 1-891116-02-9

    • They Came Searching: How Blacks Sought the Promised Land in Tulsa
      by Eddie Faye Gates
      History of black experience in Tulsa, esp. early migration, and includes eyewitness accounts of the 1921 riot.
      $19.95 + $3.00 shipping
      For order enquiries, email
      ISBN 1-57168-145-0

    • Black Wall Street: A Lost Dream
      By Ron Wallace & Jay Jay Wilson
      The Commission's Final Report describes this as a fictionalized account in a footnote (pg. 35, fn. 32).
      Some excerpts
      Order direct
      Order via Amazon

    • Up From the Ashes: A Story About Building Community
      by Hannibal B. Johnson
      The Commission's Final Report describes this as a fictionalized account in a footnote (pg. 35, fn. 32).
      Order direct

    • Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District by Hannibal B. Johnson (Austin (TX?): Eakin Press, 1998)

    • Fire on Mount Zion by Mabel B. Little (1990)

    • Tulsa! Biography of the American City by Danney Goble (Tulsa, OK: Council Oaks Books, 1997)

    • Riot and Remembrance
      by James S. Hirsch (author of Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter)
      Not out yet -- street date: February 2002
      See Amazon's pre-pub page (has publisher's blurb)

    • The Black West: A Documentary and Pictorial History by William Loren Katz
      Phenomenal book, w/ TONS of photos. Has a chapter on early black settlement of Oklahoma.
       1st ed. (h.b.): Doubleday, 1971
       2nd ed. (p.b. - revised): Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1973
       3rd ed. (p.b. - revised & expanded): Open Hand Publishing (Seattle), 1987
       4th (?) ed. (p.b. - new intro): Touchstone Books, 1996 - available via Amazon

    • Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan
      by David Mark Chalmers
      Although an early one, this is one of the better histories of the Klan in part because it covers stuff few if any others do. Has an entire chapter re: the Klan in Okla. circa the 1920s.
       1st ed.: Doubleday, 1965
       2nd ed. (p.b.): Quandrangle, 1968
       3rd ed.: Duke Univ. Press, 1987 - available via Amazon

    Misc. Related Links (mostly w/ little or no info re: Tulsa riot )
    Other Race Riots -- Obviously only a tiny sampling.