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Truxal Library Special Topic Guide: Tulsa Greenwood Race Massacre

May 31 - June 1 1921, The Tulsa Greenwood Race Massacre

About this guide

Welcome to Truxal Library Special Topic Guide: Tulsa Greenwood Race Massacre. This guide is about an event considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. It took place over a century ago, between May 31 – June 1, 1921, in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a thriving African American enclave known as “Black Wall Street.” The massacre was carried out by a white mob, who murdered hundreds of victims and destroyed the neighborhood over the course of two terrifying days. The destruction was devastating and still resonates today. In recent years, spurred by the 2021 centennial, new research and publishing on this history has become available. There have been increased efforts to teach all Americans about this history, and members of Congress have acknowledged this event and the need for a reckoning, possibly through reparations.

This library guide highlights materials about the massacre, the context in which it happened, and recent efforts to reckon with this terrible history. If you have questions about these resources or anything else at Truxal Library, please contact us any time – see the Get Help box on each page of this guide for ways to contact us. 

Recommended web sources

Primary sources

Primary sources provide evidence of an event from the time it occurred. These collections will feature photographs and witness accounts of the riots and immediate aftermath.

Reference books for background

Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography