Deep Greenwood: A Tulsa Community Read of "Built from the Fire" - Oklahoma Center for the Humanities
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Deep Greenwood: A Tulsa Community Read of “Built from the Fire”

Deep Greenwood is a series of community lectures, discussions, exhibits and live performances building off the history captured in Victor Luckerson’s Built From the Fire about Tulsa’s Greenwood District. Five free events will take place at locations around the city, with a focus on spaces in and near North Tulsa. Each event is anchored by a set of chapters from Luckerson’s book. Attendees are encouraged to read these chapters ahead of each event to fully participate in this city-wide read. You can find a reading calendar for the year here.

Click here for a recommended reading guide.

To receive email reminders about upcoming Deep Greenwood events, sign up for Victor Luckerson’s author newsletter, Run It Back.


The Origins of Racial Violence, in Tulsa and Beyond

Thursday, September 28, 2023 at All Souls Unitarian Church

6:30 p.m.

Chapters: 1-8

The Tulsa Race Massacre didn’t happen in a vacuum – it was seeded by the racial hatred within local government and media, as well as the white vigilantism condoned by law enforcement. This conversation will explore the politics of Tulsa before the race massacre, and the echoes of those politics we see in our national issues today. Live music and poetry by artist Written Quincey will accompany the talk.

Learn more here.

Greenwood Reawakened: Live at the Big 10 Ballroom

Saturday, November 11, 2023 at Big 10 Ballroom

4 p.m.

Chapters: 9-15

The North Tulsa venue that once hosted Ray Charles, Etta James and B.B. King is back and better than ever. Hear from Greenwood musicians and artists who remember the neighborhood as a cultural mecca, then enjoy a live band performing the 1950s hits that once dominated the Big 10 stage.

Learn more here.

The Lingering Legacies of Urban Renewal

Thursday, February 1, 2024 at OSU-Tulsa

7 p.m.

Chapters: 16-20

Urban renewal radically changed Tulsa’s landscape in the 1960’s and 70’s in ways that many residents were deeply opposed to. This discussion will revisit that era through both policy and personal stories. An OSU professor will interview Victor Luckerson and Don Thompson about the era. Visuals from government sources (redlining and urban renewal maps, land seizure letters to residents, annual urban renewal reports) along with Thompsons’s on-the-ground photography of how Greenwood residents experienced those tumultuous years will supplement the discussion.

Learn more here.

A People’s History of Protest in Tulsa

Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 101 E. Archer

7 p.m.

Chapters: 21-24

Activism in Greenwood stretches back to the 1910’s and it’s never let up since. This event will begin with a brief lecture about the history of protest in Greenwood and Tulsa broadly, focusing in particular on the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power movement, and the Vietnam era. A conversation with Greenwood community leaders who led the George Floyd protests will follow. They will discuss what has changed since that summer of activism and what hasn’t. This event will be paired with a photo exhibit sponsored by the University of Tulsa highlighting the history of protest and activism in Tulsa across generations.

Learn more here.

Imaginings: The Future of Greenwood

Thursday, May 30, 2024 at Rudisill Regional Library

6 p.m.

Chapters: 25 – Epilogue

To coincide with the anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, this event will consist of a panel discussion about Greenwood’s future. The talk will focus less on policy and more on vision – how do community leaders hope initiatives will reshape Greenwood’s landscape? The panel will explore how the neighborhood could be transformed if ambitious efforts like removing I-244 come to pass.

Read more here.

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