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OKH 5-2 D,E,F

Page history last edited by Brenda Beymer Chapman 10 months ago

Oklahoma Academic Standard 5. The student will examine the Oklahoma’s political, social, cultural, and economic transformation during the early decades following statehood.

Objective 5.2  Examine multiple points of view regarding the evolution of race relations in Oklahoma, including:

  D.  emergence of “Black Wall Street” in the Greenwood District

  E.  causes of the Tulsa Race Riot and its continued social and economic impact.

  F.  the role labels play in understanding historic events, for example “riot” versus “massacre." 

In a Nutshell

This objective offers students an excellent opportunity to appreciate the prosperity of African Americans regardless of forced segregation in neighborhoods such as the Greenwood District in Tulsa. In the early 1920s underlying social and economic tensions led to the worst race massacre in the nation’s history. When it was over, Greenwood District was devastated. Students should examine the legacy of the Tulsa Race Massacre today.

Teacher Action 

Student Action 

  • Provide opportunities for students to gather, organize, and analyze various kinds of primary and secondary sources  in order to draw accurate conclusions regarding the causes of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

  • Assist students to compare points of agreement and disagreement from reliable information in order to assess the appropriateness of labeling events as a “riot” or as a “massacre.”  

  • Evaluate how multiple, complex events are shaped by the unique circumstances of time and place, as well as broader historical contexts by evaluating the rise of the Greenwood District and its impact on the local economy.

  • Analyze information from visual, oral, digital, and interactive texts (e.g. maps, charts, images, political cartoons, videos) in order to draw conclusions and defend arguments related to the legacy of the Tulsa Race Massacre on race relations in Oklahoma. 

Key Concepts 


  • Greenwood District of Tulsa, "Black Wall Street", economic and cultural center for African American residents 

  • charges and arrest of Dick Rowland, mob reactions, role of local sensationalist newspaper accounts

  • response of local law enforcement and the Oklahoma National Guard

  • findings of the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Race Massacre (2018) 

  • casualties and property loss

  • memorialization of the event 

  • Some students may have prior knowledge of a race riot in Tulsa but may not comprehend the magnitude of the damage and lasting impact on the Black community and race relations in the state, as well as the nation. 

  • Some students may mistakenly assume that destruction of Tulsa community of Greenwood was the result of Black reaction to events, rather than the effect of racial violence committed by white citizens; thus, justifying of the title 'massacre" versus "race riot."

Instructional Resources

Access suggested instructional resources correlated to standard and objective.

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