Greenwood Cultural Center

Our guest is the Tulsa-based pianist and composer, Barron Ryan, who tells us about his new piano trio, "My Soul is Full of Troubles." Written for piano, violin, and cello -- and commissioned by Chamber Music Tulsa on the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre -- the work will have its world premiere on June 3rd at the Greenwood Cultural Center at 7pm. A second performance will be given on June 4th at noon at St. John's Episcopal Church, and this additional presentation will moreover be offered as a free Facebook livestream.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday became the first sitting president to visit Tulsa to commemorate the Tulsa Race Massacre, arguably the worst racist attack in American history.

White mobs, many deputized and armed by local officials, burned the Black community of Greenwood to the ground May 31 and June 1, 1921. They killed as many as 300 residents and took thousands more to internment camps.

Chris Polansky / KWGS

Updated 3:07 p.m. to correct the pool reporter's quote attributed to President Joe Biden.  

President Joe Biden toured Greenwood Cultural Center and met with the living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre after arriving in Tulsa early Tuesday afternoon.

Greenwood Cultural Center Program Director Mechelle Brown-Burdex led Biden on the tour, showing him the history of "the most successful, prosperous Black-owned business district in the country."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The White House confirmed Wednesday President Joe Biden’s Tulsa visit on Tuesday will include time in Greenwood.

Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden will deliver remarks to commemorate the Tulsa Race Massacre centennial.

"While there, he will meet with surviving members of the community, now between the ages of … 101 to 107 and tour the Greenwood Cultural Center," Jean-Pierre said.

Justice For Greenwood Foundation

A New York-based international law firm has joined the legal team representing 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre survivors and their descendants in their lawsuit for reparations from the city of Tulsa and other parties.

Youtube / City of Norman

Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in Oklahoma were noticeably impacted by two unique circumstances Monday.

"Every year, usually ... they have the marching groups. Next year, we'll be back with the walking groups, with the dancing groups," said Tulsa's MLK Day Parade emcee Rebecca Marks-Jimerson, doing color commentary for a livestream of the event. "But this year, because of the COVID, we are doing the social distancing. But we're making it happen for you."

John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma began a centennial remembrance Friday of a once-thriving African American neighborhood in Tulsa decimated by deadly white violence that has received growing recognition during America’s reckoning over police brutality and racial violence.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

A number of demonstrations are scheduled around Tulsa Saturday, with potentially thousands gathering for a prayer march with the Tulsa Police Department and separate rallies against white supremacy.

TPD and Sheridan Church are scheduled to lead a "Faith In Blue" march, a faith-based event in support of law enforcement, from John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park on North Greenwood Avenue to TPD headquarters. The march was originally routed down through the heart of the Greenwood District, but Chief Wendell Franklin said he got "unsettling news" that there may be counterprotests.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

It's he-said-they-said between Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and key stakeholders in the Greenwood District, as the conflict continues over whether or not the unauthorized "BLACK LIVES MATTER" mural on Greenwood Avenue can remain.

Chris Polansky / KWGS

An assemblage of faith communities met at the Greenwood Cultural Center on Monday morning for a rally and march to Tulsa City Hall to demand an end to police violence, the latest such event following the brutal, caught-on-camera killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

A crowd of an estimated 200 people carried signs in support of Black Americans and the Black Lives Matter movement, and were joined and led in prayer and song by leaders of Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, AME, and other Christian denominations. 

Courtesy

A history center being built by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission has a new home.

After talks to build the Greenwood Rising History Center on the grounds of the Greenwood Cultural Center fell through earlier this month, the Centennial Commission announced Tuesday it will now go up on the southeast corner of Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street, the gateway to the Greenwood District.

Greenwood Chamber of Commece

A Tulsa nonprofit that maintains the historic neighborhood known as "Black Wall Street" has been awarded a $500,000 federal grant.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we get to know Ricco Wright, who owns and operates the nonprofit Black Wall Street Gallery, a recently created art space on Greenwood Avenue. After Wright graduated from Union High School, he studied mathematics as a Bill Gates Scholar at Langston University. Thereafter he earned a doctorate in math at Columbia University, after which he lived and worked in New York City for a decade. As Wright tells us, his own passion for the arts -- visual, musical, verbal, and otherwise -- flourished considerably while he was based in NYC.

Photo by Don Thompson

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we chat with the noted photographer Don Thompson, who's been documenting the people and places of north Tulsa for more than 40 years now. His photos have been shown at local galleries, are on permanent display at OSU-Tulsa, and were recently added to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the Unity Heritage Neighborhoods Design Workshop, a program to create designs, plans, and visions for future development in neighborhoods immediately north of downtown Tulsa. These include the Brady Heights Historic District, Emerson Elementary, Greenwood, and the Evans-Fintube site. Throughout the fall, the Notre Dame University Graduate Design Studio has been viewing the landscape and speaking with community stakeholders on how they want the neighborhood to look and feel as they develop their design ideas.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a discussion that originally aired in February of last year. At that time, we spoke with Julia Clifford, the director of a documentary film called "Children of the Civil Rights." This film tells the little-known yet true story of a group of schoolchildren in Oklahoma City who -- for nearly six years -- staged Civil Rights-era sit-ins at various diners and lunch counters in OKC. These protests began in 1958, more than a year before the far more familiar Greensboro, North Carolina, sit-ins occurred.