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[VIRTUAL] The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: Separating Fact from Fiction, Then and Now

From left to right: Headshots of Randy Krehbiel, Ginnie Graham, and Hannibal Johnson

In partnership with the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, PEN America is excited to host a conversation with Hannibal Johnson and Randy Krehbiel about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre on Thursday, January 28 at 7:30pm ET.

In 1921, rumor and racism caused white angry mobs to burn Black Wall Street to the ground. The Greenwood District of Tulsa, OK was known as Black Wall Street because of its prosperous community of 10,000 African Americans. The devastation included 300 deaths, hundreds of injuries, 5,000 were left homeless, and 4,000 acres were destroyed by fire. This year 2021 is the 100-year memorial of the historic tragedy, which has relevance to modern-day issues. When writing from a historical perspective, how does one parcel fact from fiction when referring to long-ago events?

Both authors have turned decades-long research into books about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The session will be moderated by Tulsa World senior columnist Ginnie Graham.

This event will be broadcast live on PEN America’s Facebook page.  


Hannibal Johnson Headshot

Hannibal B. Johnson is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Arkansas, where he completed a double major in economics and sociology. Johnson is an attorney, author, and independent consultant specializing in diversity and inclusion/cultural competence issues and nonprofit governance. Johnson has also served as an adjunct professor at The University of Tulsa College of Law, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Oklahoma. Johnson has authored numerous books, including Images of America: Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District, and Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District.

Randy Krehbiel Headshot

Randy Krehbiel has chronicled life past and present in his native state of Oklahoma. He currently covers state politics for the Tulsa World and is a contributing editor to Oklahoma Today magazine. He has written five books, including Tulsa’s Daily World: The Story of a Newspaper and Its Town and The War to End all Wars, a novel about the social and political unrest in rural Oklahoma during World War I.

Ginnie Graham Headshot

Ginnie Graham has written about the people, places, and events in her home state of Oklahoma. After growing up in small towns, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Her career has been at the Tulsa World, currently as a columnist. Sooner Magazine has published many features, and she wrote a history of Tulsa medicine for the Tulsa County Medical Society.

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