A People’s History of Protest in Tulsa - Oklahoma Center for the Humanities
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A People’s History of Protest in Tulsa

Join us April 11, 2024 at 7 p.m.
101 Archer

See the full schedule here

This event will cover chapters 21-24 of Built From the Fire

“Organizing and protesting and advocating, it starts with what is people’s shared interest. It’s figuring out what it is that you believe in, what it is that I believe in, and where those values intersect…Anybody can get somebody to protest, but it’s going from the protest to the policy side that requires the strategy and the organization.”

– Former Tulsa Mayoral Candidate Greg Robinson, in an interview with Victor Luckerson

Activism in Greenwood stretches back to the 1910’s and it’s never let up since. This event will look at the long legacy of activism in Greenwood and Tulsa as a whole, from protests against mob violence in the 1910s to the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War in the 1960s to the George Floyd protests in 2020.

Key Chapters

“As the demonstration swelled to more than a thousand people, Tiffany noticed that police had successfully guessed the route of the march and diverted traffic as the protesters walked. They were, in essence, serving as escorts. She thought of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Albany Movement, of the early 1960s, in which an effort to gain attention for the black struggle for desegregation in Georgia had been thwarted because Albany’s savvy police chief chose not to brutalize black protesters while cameras were present. And right there at home in Tulsa, the very first protest of the civil rights movement had featured the guardrails of police ‘protection,’ until Clara Luper shifted tactics and dared to enter the segregated Boren’s restaurant unannounced. Change, quite often, was bred by disruption.” -Chapter 23, p. 404

Chapters 22 and 23 capture how Greenwood community leaders, and Tulsa as a whole, responded to the Black Lives Matter movement, the 2020 murder of George Floyd and the visit to Tulsa by President Donald Trump just weeks later. These protest movements follow a lineage of activism in Greenwood that stretches back to the years before the race massacre (outlined in Chapter 4) and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (explored in Chapters 17 and 18). 

The Panelist


Additional Reading


  • Behold the Walls by Clara Luper
  • His Name is George Floyd by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa
  • Saying it Loud: 1966–The Year Black Power Challenged the Civil Rights Movement by Mark Whitaker



I Am Not Your Negro – 2016 documentary exploring James Baldwin’s ruminations on the Civil Rights Movement

About the Venue

101 Archer is the home of TU’s Oklahoma Center for the Humanities. With gallery exhibits and weekly events, many in partnership with local arts organizations, the building serves as the gateway to the Tulsa Arts District. Designed by Selser Schaefer Architects for the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, the building opened on Dec. 16, 2012, at the northeast corner of East Archer Street and North Boston Avenue. For nearly 10 years, it served as a community centerpiece for the arts until the organization closed its doors on Nov. 4, 2022. TU acquired the building in February of 2023 to reaffirm its commitment to the arts and humanities.

Address: 101 E. Archer St., Tulsa, OK 74103

Street parking available on Archer and Boston.

Garage parking available at 11 S. Boston Ave., Tulsa, OK 74103