Black History Month in Tulsa
February is Black History Month. Explore the history and contributions of African Americans with your children through at-home activities or events throughout the Tulsa area.
Black History Month Events in Tulsa:
Visit the African American Resource Center
The purpose of the African-American Resource Center is to collect, preserve and provide access to resources honoring and documenting the experiences of people of African descent. The Center is devoted to providing the community with current and comprehensive resource materials and professional reference materials on the culture and history of African-Americans. Individual and group tours of the center's collection and special features are available by appointment. To arrange a tour, call the coordinator at 918.549.7645.
Features Of The African-American Resource Center
- Five Civilized Tribal Rolls
Listening Station: An homage to the musical artistry of African-Americans
Viewing Stations: Videotapes of oral histories of North Tulsans and on African-American intellectuals, history and black thought
Exhibits: Displays are used to promote and interpret the collection and are made possible by local citizens.
Past exhibits include:
- "400 Years Without a Comb"
- "Aristocrats of Color"
- "Harlem Renaissance"
- "Distorted Images"
- "Portraits of Historic African-American Leaders" – Exhibit from the Oklahoma State Capitol
(Oklahoma Centennial Project- 2007)
- “Roots of Black Hair”: Exhibit features historical African and African-American hair related items on loan from the private collection of Brenda and Eddie Cleveland, owners of Technical Institute of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences
Visit the Greenwood Cultural Center
Dubbed America's "Black Wall Street" by Booker T. Washington, the 35-block Greenwood District surrounding the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street became a prosperous center for black commerce in the early 1900s. It was also a hotbed for jazz and blues, and the site where Count Basie first encountered big-band jazz. When the tragic and devastating Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 destroyed much of the district, the black community rebuilt from the ashes. Today, the Greenwood Historical District showcases its heritage through the Greenwood Cultural Center (322 N. Greenwood Ave.) and the Mabel B. Little Heritage House.
Take your family to visit the Greenwood Cultural Center for a self-guided tour, or call 918.596.1020 to schedule a guided tour by a staff member at the center.
Visit Reconciliation Park
“Perhaps the first thing we need to do as a nation and as individual members of society is confront our past and see it for what it is.” – John Hope Franklin, The Color Line
Located near the Greenwood Cultural Center, Reconciliation Park is the long-awaited result of the 2001 Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. It memorializes the Tulsa Race Riot, called the worst civic disturbance in American history. The Park also tells the story of African Americans’ role in building Oklahoma and thus begins the long-delayed rendering of the full account of Oklahoma’s history. John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park continues the American tradition of erecting memorials based on tragic events by giving voice to the untold story of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot and the important role African Americans played in building Oklahoma.
Find out more here.
“I Have a Dream” Mobile Activity: Saturday, February 6; Noon-2 p.m.
Stop by and create your own “I Have a Dream” mobile. Completed mobiles will be on display during February as inspiration to all to dream big. For all ages. Seating is limited.Suburban Acres Library, 4606 N. Garrison
An Afrocentric Invitation: A Black Hair Affair: Thursday: February 11; 6-8:30 p.m.
Join the African-American Resource Center for this community-wide discussion of the topic “Is there a tactile fascination regarding black women’s hair?” Wear your hair in locks, kinks, naps, straight, bald, curly, long, short, or however you wish. We will discuss the short film “You Can Touch My Hair” by Antonia Opiah, founder of the blog Un’ruly. Learn the basics about black hair care and the feelings associated with the question “Can I touch your hair?” For teens and adults. Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N. Hartford
Black Classics Movie Day: Saturday, February 20; 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Join in for a showing of classic black films, with discussion afterward. For all ages. Suburban Acres Library, 4606 N. Garrison
Black History in Living Color 2.0: Saturday, February 20; 1:30-4 p.m.
The event is an opportunity for our teens to provide a living tribute to icons of Black history. The teens will portray various figures and icons from Black history as they move through the library. For additional information, contact Angela Hardman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N Hartford
2016 African-American Heritage History Bowl: Monday, February 22; 6:00-8:30 p.m.
Designed around the national African-American History Month theme “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African-American Memories,” the trivia bowl is open to all high schools, sororities, fraternities, social and business organizations, churches, teams, schools, book clubs, groups and families to enter. There is a High School Bowl and Community Bowl. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place in each bowl. All ages are welcome to attend. To participate or for more information, contact Lee Platt at 918.549.7646. Rudisill Regional Library,1520 N. Hartford
Martin Luther King Jr. Board Game Day: Saturday, February 27; Noon-2 p.m.
Play the MLK Jr. board game and try to make it to the special monument. For all ages. Suburban Acres Library, 4606 N. Garrison