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March 7: Erasure Series Lecture to Focus on the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot

Scott Ellsworth, an author and noted scholar on the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, will discuss “The 1921 Tulsa Riot and the Erasure of Black History” on Wednesday, March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre, Elaine Langone Center. His free, public talk is part of the Griot Institute for Africana Studies‘ Spring Lecture and Performance Series on the theme of “Erasure: Blackness and the Fight Against Invisibility.”

The horrific 1921 race riot in Tulsa, Okla. was the largest single incident of racial violence in American history, one that resulted in an untold number of fatalities and the destruction of more than 1,000 African-American homes and businesses. Yet despite its magnitude, the history of the riot — and of the flourishing black community that was destroyed — was actively suppressed and minimized. Dr. Ellsworth’s talk will bring this story back to life.

A lecturer in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) at the University of Michigan, Ellsworth is a PEN Award-winning writer described by Booklist as “a historian with the soul of a poet.” Born and raised in Tulsa, he has spent nearly four decades researching, writing about and breaking the silence over the 1921 Tulsa race riot. He has appeared on the TODAY Show, ABC News Nightline, National Public Radio, the BBC, The American Experience and the History Channel while he served as one of the chief historians for the Tulsa Race Riot Commission.

Ellsworth’s book, Death in a Promised Land, is available for purchase at the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University Bookstore and will be on sale at the event.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Bucknell Department of History and is also made possible through the generous support of the University Lectureship Committee.

For questions about this event, please email

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