One hundred years ago, on May 31 and June 1, 1921, white mobs in Tulsa, Oklahoma attacked the city’s Black residents and businesses in one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. They killed hundreds of people and destroyed 35 square blocks in the city’s Greenwood District, also called “Black Wall Street,” which had been the wealthiest Black community in the United States.

This racist massacre on American soil was similar in many ways to the pogroms experienced by eastern European Jews, in which violent antisemitic mobs attacked Jewish people, homes, and business. But the 1921 Tulsa race massacre was a taboo topic for decades in the United States, including among some American Jews.

Join us for a groundbreaking program exploring Tulsa and its legacy on the eve of the massacre’s centennial. Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, will moderate a discussion featuring:

  • Dr. Hasia Diner, the Paul And Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History at New York University and author of In the Almost Promised Land: American Jews and Blacks, 1915-1935;
  • Hannibal Johnson, an author, attorney, educator, and civic leader in Tulsa who wrote Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District and chairs the Education Committee of the city’s Centennial Commission; and
  • Jonathan Silvers, documentary filmmaker and founder of Saybrook Productions who is directing Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten, a centennial exploration of the 1921 race massacre which will premiere on PBS on May 31, 2021.

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Public programming at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; a Humanities New York CARES Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act; and other generous donors.

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