Breaking silences: Lessons from Tulsa and Charlottesville

Monument to Tulsa massacre

The Tower of Reconciliation in Tulsa, near where the massacre took place

Breaking silences: Lessons from Tulsa and Charlottesville

Andrea Douglas, Scott Ellsworth, Kevin K. Gaines

Thursday, January 20, 2022
11:00AM - 12:00PM (EST)
Event Details

In May 2021, Joe Biden became the first president to officially commemorate the Tulsa Race Massacre, which happened exactly 100 years prior, when white mobs destroyed the all-Black Greenwood district, burning more than 1,000 businesses, churches, and homes, and murdering scores, possibly hundreds. President Biden's acknowledgment of that horrific event follows decades of struggle by survivors and local activists to break the silence of the cover-up by Tulsa's white civic leaders. What are the lessons for other cities confronting past atrocities or histories of injustice, such as Greensboro, North Carolina, or Charlottesville, Virginia?

This conversation is co-sponsored by the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center and is part of the University of Virginia's Martin Luther King Day commemoration.


Thursday, January 20, 2022
11:00AM - 12:00PM (EST)
Online webinar
Andrea Douglas's headshot

Andrea Douglas

Andrea Douglas is the founding executive director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. She was recently appointed to the Governor’s Commission to Study Slavery and Subsequent De Jure and De Facto Racial and Economic Discrimination and to the board of Virginians for the Arts. She is also the co-chair of the President’s Commission on the Age of Segregation at the University of Virginia and serves on Monticello’s Advisory Committee on African American Affairs as well as the state’s History of Lynching in Virginia Working Group. She has served on the City of Charlottesville Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Monuments, and Public Spaces, the University of Virginia’s President’s Commission on Slavery at the University, and was chair of the city’s PLACE Design Task Force.

Scott Ellsworth headshot

Scott Ellsworth

Scott Ellsworth has been researching and writing about the 1921 Tulsa race massacre for 45 years. His newest book, The Ground Breaking, details how the massacre was deliberately covered up for a half century—and of the determined individuals who finally got the story out. He teaches at the University of Michigan.

Kevin Gaines headshot

Kevin K. Gaines

Kevin K. Gaines is a Miller Center faculty senior fellow and the Julian Bond Professor of Civil Rights and Social Justice at the University of Virginia. He received his BA degree from Harvard University and his PhD degree from Brown University in the Department of American Civilization. He is author of Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture in the Twentieth Century (University of North Carolina Press, 1996), which was awarded the John Hope Franklin book prize of the American Studies Association.