There is no question or argument that on 31 May -1 June 1921, a race riot took place in Tulsa that ultimately left an unknown number of people dead, and many more than even the highest estimates of those killed homeless, humiliated and horribly in debt. That these people in the next decade, during one of the worst periods of racism against them, overcame all that and succeeded in rebuilding is amazing. These are people, living and dead, are people to be honored and recognized.
It is also accepted that this is an extremely emotional topic for many people, and that many aspects of this can’t help but evoke an angry response. This is particularly so when faced with time honored beliefs about events, and having those questioned, and more so when it seems like the “revision” of what you’ve been taught seems to be stripping you of your history. I will get into a broader discussion of this under Methodology, however, let me just say that while I truly believe that most people who reported events, did so in good faith attempts to convey things as they understood them,and I will try to honor those attempts. However, my ultimate goal is to look for the verifiable version of what happened, period. If we can look at the verifiable events and agree on them, we can slowly start to look at the other, less verifiable, events as related, and put them in their proper context.
The contents of this Website consist of a paper written long ago, and some of the research I’ve compiled since then. My purpose for doing this is that I am interested in the topic and truly want to see the truth, or at least, the most plausible version of events made available.
I do need to mention that since 2005, I have altered the course of my research into the areas of photographic identification and analysis, in an attempt to limit any possible conflicts of interest between my research and my current employment. In 2012, I have expanded this by removing this website from my University account, simply because converting it into a WordPress site would make it easier to update and comment on. These have been my idea, and no one told me I needed to.
Finally, you will notice that there are a minimal number of photos on this site, even though you will see in other sites copies of many of the pictures taken. I do have copies of most of the photos, but I do have a solid respect for the copyrights of the photographers and the ownership of the institutions that hold those images. The images you will see here are, unless otherwise noted, property of The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections, and are used here by permission. The issues of copyright are further discussed under Copyright.
I have created a different web site, Tulsa Race Riot Photographs (http://tulsaraceriot.omeka.net/) to explore the public domain photographs of the riot and the Greenwood area.