Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 16, 2018
Sen. Kevin Matthews
Sen. Matthews to unveil Tulsa 1921 Curriculum
State Sen. Kevin Matthews will announce the completion
of a curriculum to be taught statewide related to the 1921 Race
Riot on Tuesday, February 20 at Douglass High School (900 North
Martin Luther King Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) at 10:15am.
Matthews is the founder and Chair of the 1921 Centennial Commission
that created the curriculum to educate the public about the riot,
which is also referred to as a massacre by locals and many who have
studied this tragedy.
“We specifically chose to have this curriculum unveiled during
Black History Month,” said Matthews, D-Tulsa. “People
need to know that the Greenwood area, which was once called the
Black Wall Street of America, was developed right here in Tulsa,
in our state, and about the tragedy that occurred here."
Matthews pointed out that the National African American Museum in
Washington D.C. tells the history of the area and the riot, but
that it is not taught in Oklahoma. He was pleased to learn that
U.S. Senator James Lankford also shared about it on the Senate Floor
but he wants more people to know the history.
“Our commission is supported by virtually every elected official
representing the Greenwood area in Tulsa, and this curriculum had
extremely strong support from U.S. Senator Lankford at the federal
level. We also have had the support and cooperation of our State
Superintendent, our Tulsa Public School Superintendent, and Tulsa
Mayor GT Bynum,” said Matthews. “It is unique to have
a state Senator and a U.S. Senator, of different political parties
and different races, come together with other elected officials
on both sides of the aisle for such an important issue, particularly
in these times of political and racial division that we see daily
in the news."
The senator explained that because of the legislature being in
both regular and special session it was not possible to have the
unveiling at Booker T. Washington High School, which was once on
Greenwood in Tulsa. Douglass High School was chosen because of its
deep rooted history in the Black Community in Oklahoma City.
Matthews has invited Sen. Lankford, Oklahoma City Mayor–elect
David Holt, Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum, members of the Oklahoma Legislative
Black Caucus and Chairman George Young, Sen. Anastasia Pittman who
represents the Douglas High School area, State Superintendent Joy
Hofmeister, and members of the 1921 Commission.
“After Senate Bill 17 passed unanimously and was signed into
law by the Governor, this curriculum not only educates our citizens
about this little known history in our state, but enhances the interest
and understanding of the accompanying tourist destination, tours,
books, and business development leading up to the centennial year
of 2021,” said Matthews.
For more information and to become involved with the Commission
go to www.Tulsa2021.org
Matthews is the founder and Chair of the bipartisan and multicultural
1921 Centennial Commission. Their mission is to leverage the rich
history surrounding the 1921 Race Riot by facilitating actions,
activities, and events that commemorate and educate all citizens.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Matthews: (405) 521-5598
Cell (918) 955-2283