The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

May 31, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, when a violent white mob nearly destroyed the formerly thriving and prosperous African American community in the Greenwood district of Tulsa (also known as Black Wall Street). Over 300 African Americans were killed, and thousands were displaced. Hundreds of homes and businesses burned to the ground. In the decades since this occurred, the massacre was covered up, local officials obstructed the redevelopment of Greenwood, and the local chapter of the KKK became one of the largest in the U.S.

Join the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), for a conversation with leading policy makers, academics, and researchers on the historical legacy of the Massacre, the effects on current-day policy and organizing debates related to racial justice, and the movement for reparations.

You can sign up for the event here.


  • Keisha N. Blain | Associate Professor, History, University of Pittsburgh; Carr Center, Fellow
  • Rep. Regina Goodwin | State Representative and Chair, OK Legislative Black Caucus
  • Dreisen Heath | Researcher / Advocate, Human Rights Watch
  • Karlos Hill | Department Chair, African and African-American Studies, University of Oklahoma
  • Sushma Raman (moderator) | Executive Director, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

Dr. Keisha N. Blain is an award-winning historian of the 20th century United States. She is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and the president of the African American Intellectual History Society and a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. She also serves as an editor for the Washington Post’s ‘Made by History’ section. She is the author of the multi-prize-winning book Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (2018) and co-editor of: To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism (University of Illinois Press, 2019); New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2018); and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016). Her latest books are Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited with Ibram X. Kendi (Penguin Random House/One World); and Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America (Beacon Press, October 5, 2021).

Rep. Regina Goodwin is a native of Tulsa and grew up on historic Greenwood Ave. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1980, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Kansas and completed Masters Coursework at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. Rep. Goodwin, a faithful member of North Peoria Church of Christ, grew up in a loving and community-oriented family. Rep. Goodwin’s grandparents Jeanne and Ed Goodwin, Sr. and parents Alquita and Ed Goodwin, Jr. instilled the philosophy that “Service is the rent we pay for our room and board on earth.” In 2015, Rep. Goodwin, was elected to serve as State Representative, Tulsa House District 73. Rep. Goodwin fights to improve public education, economic development, housing, and health care. Community policing and criminal justice reform are also critical areas of concern. Rep. Goodwin was the principal House Author bills now signed into law

Dreisen Heath is a researcher/advocate focusing on racial justice issues, including reparations, in the United States Program at Human Rights Watch. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Dreisen worked as the Special Assistant to the Director and Counsel of the Brennan Center’s Washington DC Office and was a researcher at the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) at the University of Delaware examining emerging community health and education policy, with a particular focus on food insecurity and food access in low-income communities at the local, state and federal level. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.

Karlos K. Hill is an associate professor and chair of the Clara Luper Department of African and African-American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. He is a community-engaged scholar and historian of the history of lynching, racial violence, and their legacies in the black experience. Hill has helped create an infrastructure to help provide high-level training on teaching the Tulsa Race Massacre through the annual Tulsa Race Massacre Oklahoma Teachers Summer Institute. Hill is the author of three books, Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and MemoryThe Murder of Emmett Till: A Graphic History and The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History, which will be released in March. He is a board member for the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, the Clara Luper Legacy Committee, and the Board of Scholars for Facing History and Ourselves.

Sushma Raman is the Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. She brings over two decades of global experience launching, scaling, and leading social justice and philanthropic programs and collaboratives, building capabilities of grassroots human rights organizations and their leaders, and teaching graduate courses in the public policy schools at UCLA, USC, and Harvard Kennedy School. Sushma is the co-author, along with Bill Schulz (former executive director of Amnesty International USA and Carr Center Senior Fellow), of the book The Coming Good Society: Why New Realities Demand New Rights, (Harvard University Press, 2020). Sushma is the host of the Carr Center’s Justice Matters podcast, a contributor to Foreign Policy magazine, and a facilitator for many Carr Center events, including the Human Rights in Hard Places and the Struggle for Black Lives series.

Virtual Event Details
This event will be livestreamed on YouTube Live. Attendees registered for this event (link below) will receive a reminder for the livestream fifteen minutes before the event along with a link to the YouTube page where you can participate in the live chat and ask questions during the event.

Click here to sign up for this event

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