Red Summer of 1919 and Black Wall Street Resources for Educators

November 2, 2020

Because textbooks usually leave out the massacres at Elaine, AR, and Tulsa, OK, we’ve provided resources for educators to help direct learners to interactive, immersive experiences if they can’t go in person or if they want to enhance their in-person experience. These resources feature curriculum guides and multimedia to help facilitate student-centered learning.

Red Summer of 1919

Known as the Red Summer of 1919, one of the largest massacres of Black people, at least 200, in modern times occurred in Elaine, AR. Exploited sharecroppers organized to ensure a share of the profits of their labor. White people resisted this uprising, and violence ensued. Twelve Black men were tried and convicted of murder by an all-White jury, which reached the Supreme Court and was overturned. A memorial was built in Helena, which stirs controversy due to its location and its own involvement in the massacre.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture developed an online exhibit of Red Summer, complete with maps, photos, interactive timeline, texts (including Ida B. Well’s book on the event) and educator resources. Learn more >

1921 Tulsa Race Massacre on Black Wall Street

Before one horrific morning of June 1, 1921, Tulsa’s Black community had thrived with a vibrant economy in the Greenwood District, or what became known as Black Wall Street. In the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, White people destroyed more than 30 city blocks and killed suspected 300 Black people, a number currently being investigated as mass graves are discovered.

  • The Tulsa Historical Society’s resources include curriculum guides, photos and survivor audio recordings. Learn more >
  • 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission’s resources include lesson plans, suggested literature and online resources. Learn more >
  • The Smithsonian Institute’s resources include a podcast, a long-lost manuscript, images and artifacts. Discover more >
  • The New York Times created a 3D model of what Greenwood would have looked like, using historical evidence and photography. Explore now >
  • In May 2021, over 50 artists launched a multimedia project, Fire in Little Africa, about Black Wall Street. Learn more >

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