Tulsa Race Massacre curriculum unveiled
The Tulsa Race Riot Commission is ensuring Oklahoma students learn about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre with a new curriculum.
Tulsa Public Schools teachers in front of the Greenwood District’s new Black Wall Street mural. They attended a Tulsa Race Massacre Institute from June 11-14.
An important part of history is making sure the negative parts aren’t repeated. How do you do that? Learn it.
The Tulsa Race Riot Commission is ensuring many Oklahoma students are learning about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre for the first time, thanks to a new curriculum.
In February, the commission debuted one-and five-day lesson plans created by its education steering committee with input from historians, authors, educators, Oklahoma Department of Education representatives, elected officials and community members. These plans include reading assignments, discussion points and project starters.
Although legislation passed in 2012 requiring Oklahoma public schools to teach about the 1921 tragedy, the commission realized many teachers had not been doing so because they lacked resources.
Jamaal Dyer, the commission’s project manager, says that for the most part, the new curriculum has been praised. “We received some feedback from teachers who have used it, and they informed us that it provided them with information and resources they were unfamiliar with,” he says. Additional vocabulary suggestions have been made and added to the list of resources.
In collaboration with the University of Oklahoma, the commission is working to start an institute on the massacre for educators statewide so they can more effectively and efficiently teach students, Dyer adds. The first such institute was a collaboration between Tulsa Public Schools and the University of Tulsa in June.
Next, the commission wants to engage Tulsans in the projects, plans and activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Massacre in 2021. Five committees have been assembled: arts and culture, economic development, reconciliation, tourism and education. Those with ideas for the commission should visit tulsa2021.org.