Tahlequah Daily Press

February 6, 2014

NSU to host Tulsa race riot documentary


TAHLEQUAH — “The Night Tulsa Burned,” a documentary film recalling the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, will be shown in the sixth floor Tower Room of the Webb Building on the Tahlequah campus of Northeastern State University at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 13.

The racial violence that destroyed the prosperous African-American business district of Tulsa, known as the Black Wall Street, focused world-wide attention of the booming Oklahoma oil town and left emotional scars that lingered long after the physical damage had been repaired.

Following the viewing of the documentary, a group of discussion leaders from the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation in Tulsa will divide the audience into small groups. Each will explore aspects of the violence that destroyed Tulsa’s Greenwood District almost a century ago and consider their relevance in the 21st century.

“We hope to provide some perspective on an event that community leaders sought to conceal for many decades. Part of the lingering resentment about that tragic episode, was the conspiracy of silence that prevailed in the aftermath of the riot,” said Dr. Suzanne Farmer, the Northeastern history professor who organized the presentation.

“To this day, there are no reliable numbers of those killed and injured in the violence.

“And the recommendation of commission, appointed by the legislature, to provide compensation for the victims and their survivors was largely ignored.”

One of the Northeastern events observing Black Heritage Month, the “Night Tulsa Burned” presentation is sponsored by the History Department, the College of Liberal Arts, and the NSU American Democracy Project in cooperation with the NSU Black Heritage Committee.