In commemoration of the centenary of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, Mt. Lebanon Public Library and The Historical Society of Mount Lebanon are sponsoring a community event featuring Hannibal B. Johnson, author of Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples with Its Historical Racial Trauma and chair of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. Mr. Johnson will provide an introduction to the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the deadliest single act of anti-Black violence in American history, and then will be joined by Mt. Lebanon High School History teacher Pete DiNardo for an informal discussion to address an array of topics ranging from historic amnesia to how communities deal with trauma to the issue of reparations. An audience Q & A and book signing will immediately follow. Books will be sold by City Books. Books are available for sale prior to the event at https://citybookspgh.com/blackwallstreet/ The event will be held at the Mt. Lebanon High School on Wednesday, September 22nd at 7:00 PM in the Mt. Lebanon High School Fine Arts Theatre. Registration is required.
HANNIBAL B. JOHNSON, a Harvard Law School graduate, is an author, attorney, and consultant. He has taught at The University of Tulsa College of Law, Oklahoma State University, and The University of Oklahoma. Johnson serves on numerous boards and commissions, including the Federal 400 Years of African American History Commission and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. His books, including Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples with Its Historical Racial Trauma, chronicle the African American experience in Oklahoma and its indelible impact on American history. Johnson’s play, Big Mama Speaks—A Tulsa Race Riot Survivor’s Story, was selected for the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival and has been staged in Caux, Switzerland. He has received numerous honors and awards for his work and community service.
Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples with its Historical Racial Trauma, endorsed by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission and the 400 Years of African American History Commission, furthers the educational mission of both bodies. The book offers updates on developments in Tulsa generally and in Tulsa's Greenwood District specifically since the publication of Hannibal B. Johnson's, Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District.
Black Wall Street 100 is a window into what distinguishes the Tulsa of today from the Tulsa of a century ago. Before peering through that porthole, we must first reflect on Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District in all its splendor and squalor, from the prodigious entrepreneurial spirit that pervaded it to the carnage that characterized the 1921 massacre to the post-massacre rebound and rebuilding that raised the District to new heights to the mid-twentieth-century decline that proved to be a second near-fatal blow to the current recalibration and rebranding of a resurgent, but differently configured, community
Tulsa's trajectory may be instructive for other communities similarly seeking to address their own histories of racial trauma. Conversely, Tulsa may benefit from learning more about the paths taken by other communities. Through sharing and synergy, we stand a better chance of doing the work necessary to spur healing and move farther toward the reconciliation of which we so often speak.