August 7: Webinar: Three Historians Speak on Tulsa 1921 | Discussion with Robin D.G. Kelley, John Womack, Jr., and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz | Claudia Jones School for Political Education

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo

Greetings Family,

This is an invitation to our next event titled Three Historians Speak on Tulsa 1921 featuring scholars Robin D.G. Kelley, John Womack, Jr., and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.

Oklahoma was a powder keg of struggle in the years preceding the Tulsa atrocity of 1921. Tenant farmers, sharecroppers, and workers: Black, white, and indigenous, joined forces in struggles against landlords, usurers, the Klan and the police.

In 1917, the "Working Class Union" (the name of the Oklahoma-based organization) tried to launch a US-wide armed insurrection against the U.S. government and its impending entry into World War I. In November of that year, the "Knights of Liberty", a Klan precursor, tarred and feathered more than a dozen IWW members in Tulsa. Even the 80-years-late 2001 Oklahoma Commission on the "Tulsa Race Riot" (the Commission's term) admitted that the attack on the IWW "proved to be an important step along the road to the race riot."

In 1921, the Klan, police, and oil company planes burned and bombed Tulsa's Black section. Day-after images of Tulsa resemble modern-day images of Gaza after Israeli bombing.

Famed–and committed–historians John Womack, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Robin D.G. Kelley provide insights into the forces that led to the Tulsa atrocity of 1921.


When: Saturday, August 7 at 2:00pm Eastern Time

This event will feature:

Robin D.G. Kelley is a historian who holds the position of Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA. His research has explored the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; Black intellectuals; music and visual culture; Surrealism, Marxism, among other things. His essays have appeared in a wide variety of professional journals as well as general publications, including the Journal of American History, American Historical Review, The Nation, Monthly Review, New York Times, Color Lines, Counterpunch, Souls, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, Social Text, The Black Scholar, Journal of Palestine Studies, and  Boston Review, for which he also serves as Contributing Editor. 

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. After receiving her PhD in history at the University of California at Los Angeles, she taught in the newly established Native American Studies Program at California State University, Hayward, and helped found the Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies. Her 1977 book The Great Sioux Nation was the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indigenous peoples of the Americas, held at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva. Dunbar-Ortiz is the author or editor of seven other books, including Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico. She lives in San Francisco.

John Womack, Jr. is a professor emeritus of history at Harvard University and the author of Zapata and the Mexican Revolution.