Greenwood District

We're pleased to welcome Quraysh Ali Lansana back to StudioTulsa; the writer, poet, educator, and Tulsa Artist Fellow joins us to discuss his newest book. That volume, "Opal's Greenwood Oasis," is a children's book for which he is the co-author. Aimed at elementary-school readers, the book profiles one Opal Brown, who takes her very first "on her own" bike ride throughout her home neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Philbrook Museum of Art

Acclaimed documentary director, editor, and producer Sam Pollard joins us to talk about his recent films Black Art: In the Absence of Light, MLK/FBI, and his storied career. From serving as Spike Lee's longtime editor (Jungle Fever, Clockers, 4 Little Girls) to directing one of the earliest films on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre (Goin' Back to T-Town, 1993), Pollard has made an indelible impact by telling Black stories through film. 

WGBH Boston

Our guest on ST is the documentary filmmaker, Sam Pollard, who directed "Goin' Back to T-Town." This remarkable film, which dates from the early 1990s, tells the then-nearly-forgotten-but-now-familiar story of Greenwood, the "Black Wall Street" neighborhood in Tulsa which prospered during the early 20th century, and which was all but erased in 1921 by one of the worst race-driven massacres in U.S. history. "Goin' Back to T-Town" will be shown next week (on Monday the 8th) on PBS television.

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."

On this edition of ST, we chat with artist and Living Arts of Tulsa board member Tina Henley, who is the curator for an interesting group show now on view at Living Arts called "Project Hope, Unity, and Compassion." On view through the 22nd, it is a collection of large-scale artworks which were created on plywood last summer by various artists, and which were then used to cover store-fronts, windows, and buildings in advance of the Trump rally at the BOK Center.

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.

Courtesy

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission has received a $1 million grant toward the Greenwood Rising commemorative center from Bank of America.

A portion of the grant is for construction costs, while the rest will go to related initiatives.

"We're going to help with educational programming, entrepreneurial programming, supplier diversity initiatives, I mean, anything and everything we can do to ultimately help bring this community back to where it originally was," said Bank of America Tulsa Market President Bill Lissau.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The city of Tulsa removed a massive Black Lives Matter painting on Monday from a city street in the historic Greenwood District after activists painted it without the city’s permission.

The 250-foot-long (76.20 meters) sign was painted days before President Donald Trump’s June rally and weeks after George Floyd’s death in May after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on the neck of the handcuffed Black man for several minutes.

We're pleased to welcome the Tulsa-based attorney, historian, and author Hannibal B. Johnson back to StudioTulsa. An active and well-respected expert on matters of diversity, inclusion, and social justice, Johnson is also the education chair for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Commission. He joins us to discuss his newest book, "Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples With Its Historical Racial Trauma." As was noted of this volume by Dr.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

The Tulsa City Council recommended Wednesday the Black Lives Matter mural on Greenwood Avenue stay — for now.

Councilors approved a recommendation to Mayor G.T. Bynum saying the $20,000 it will take to remove the street painting is wasteful when a street resurfacing project is in the works. The mural is in City Councilor Kara Joy McKee’s district.

University of Tulsa

A lawsuit in state court demands the City of Tulsa, Tulsa County and five other defendants address an ongoing public nuisance caused by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

On this edition of ST, we continue our series of conversations with candidates seeking the office of Tulsa mayor. Our guest today is Ty Walker, who owns and operates Tulsa's well-known Wanda J's Next Generation Restaurant. Mr. Walker was born and raised in North Tulsa; he is the father of six daughters, a 1983 graduate of McLain High School, and a U.S. Navy Veteran who served during Desert Storm. Further, per the Walker campaign website: "Tulsa faces a world of economic issues. While we are maintaining as a city, we are not growing.

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 News

The city of Tulsa announced Monday that it intends to follow through on its plans to remove the Black Lives Matter painting on the roadway of North Greenwood Avenue

The unauthorized street painting, completed in the lead-up to Juneteenth and President Trump's visit to Tulsa, was a subject of discussion at a Tulsa City Council committee meeting last week, where it was  concluded it would be removed due to not having a city-issued permit, and potentially opening the doors to legally having to allow any other painted messages.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

Greenwood's proclamation that "BLACK LIVES MATTER" will be erased from the road surface by the city of Tulsa.

In a Wednesday meeting of the Tulsa City Council's committee on urban and economic development, councilors, attorneys and a representative from City Hall discussed what to do about the painting, which was done without a city permit.

The discussion was raised by Councilor Cass Fahler, who said that pro-police groups have inquired about the legality of painting their own message -- "BACK THE BLUE" -- on some other block in Tulsa. 

Twitter / @OKCThunder

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder and Creative Arts Agency Sports have formed the Thunder Fellows Program, designed to create opportunities in sports, technology and entertainment for Black students in the Tulsa area.

The Thunder announced Tuesday that the program will launch next year.

1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission

Gov. Kevin Stitt said on Wednesday President Donald Trump’s potential visit to the Greenwood District ahead of his campaign rally this weekend is "in flux."

"I don’t know if the president is going to go to the Greenwood District now. It was a request that I made early but because of the Juneteenth celebration, with the Secret Service it could be problematic to have the president go there because some things have to be disrupted and shut down for a presidential visit," Stitt said.

University of Tulsa

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission hosted a virtual commemoration Sunday of the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

On June 1, 1921, a white mob continued looting and burning Black Wall Street. The attack destroyed 35 city blocks, and the death toll is still unknown.

They were joined by Damon Lindelof, creator of the HBO series "Watchmen," which opens with the race massacre. As the character Will Reeves says, Lindelof said wounds need air.

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.