100th Anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre to be the Focus of Park University’s Annual Black History Lecture
Feb. 1, 2021 — A discussion surrounding the events of the Tulsa (Okla.) Race Massacre (also known as the Tulsa Race Riot) will be the topic addressed during Park University’s 20th annual Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture on Monday, Feb. 22. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held virtually at park.edu/spencercavelecture starting at 3 p.m.
Randy Krehbiel, a staff writer at the Tulsa World, will be the featured guest speaker discussing the events of May 31 and June 1, 1921, considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, more than 1,000 homes and businesses were destroyed and death estimates ranged from 50 to 300.
In 1999, Krehbiel was appointed to a panel established by the Oklahoma Legislature to investigate the Tulsa events and the aftermath. This began two decades of research and reporting by Krehbiel that became the basis of his book Tulsa 1921: Reporting a Massacre (University of Oklahoma Press), which was published in September 2019 and was named Oklahoma Department of Libraries’ Nonfiction Book of the Year and the Oklahoma Historical Society’s Book of the Year.
Krehbiel, an Oklahoma native and a graduate of Oklahoma State University, arrived at the Tulsa World in 1979 as a sports writer, and has remained there ever since. He continues to report on issues related to race, as well as state and national politics and government. Krehbiel also covered the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2017.
Park University’s Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture Series is named for Cave, a man born into slavery at the start of the Civil War. After moving to Parkville, Mo., Cave worked for the University for more than 70 years before his death in 1947. In homage to Cave, Park University started this lecture series to expound on the many contributions African Americans have made toward our nation’s success.