BCALA and the ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table: Greenwood Avenue

Last updated July 26, 2021

2021 marks the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, when a white mob stormed the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, destroyed Black homes and businesses, and murdered Black residents. Greenwood, also known as Black Wall Street, was one of the wealthiest Black communities in the United States — a fact that made the city’s government uneasy, and an active conspirator in its destruction.

Greenwood was an oasis for Black residents to live outside Jim Crow laws and be, without repercussions. It was a district that celebrated Black bodies, Black intelligence, and Black worth. With its destruction, the city’s government sent the message that segregation was not enough — Black folks could not revel in their success and thrive. The comics on this mini-list tell a story of racial hateandrelayGreenwood’s Black residents’ resilience, innovation, and success.

Members of the GNCRT may have contributed to the items listed here and may have done so voluntarily or paid.

Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre (YA)
Alverne Ball, writer; Stacey Robinson, artist
2021, Abrams
The majority of this comic is spent portraying the founding and development of Greenwood Avenue. Fewer pages are spent on the Tulsa Race Massacre, putting the beautiful Greenwood District first. An additional essay details the Indigenous history of Tulsa, lending important context to this historic neighborhood.
Publisher site: https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/across-the-tracks_9781419755170/
WorldCat: https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1224246118

The Massacre of Black Wall Street (A)
Natalie Chang, writer; Clayton Henry, artist; Marcelo Maiolo, artist
2019, The Atlantic
This scrolling digital comic — commissioned as a companion piece to HBO’s Watchmen series — tells the true and untold story of the 1921 Massacre of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. About 300 Black Tulsans were murdered, thousands were left homeless, and the economic prosperity of Black Wall Street was obliterated. This nonfiction comic features extensive source material links and resources.

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre (J)
Carole Boston Weatherford, writer; Floyd Cooper, artist
2021, Carolrhoda Books
A retelling of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre for young readers.
Publisher site: https://lernerbooks.com/shop/show/20776
WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1157604208

Supplementary Works

1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Guide
Tulsa City-County Library
A guide meant to supplement Tulsa City-County Library’s African American Research Center Tulsa Race Massacre with additional resources outside the center.
Publisher site: https://www.tulsalibrary.org/research/african-american-resource-center/1921-tulsa-race-massacre

Black Wall Street 100: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District
Hannibal B. Johnson, writer
2021, Eakin Press
Originally published in 1998, the first edition of this book paints a vivid picture of Greenwood before, during, and after the Tulsa Race Massacre. This new edition details changes that Tulsa and the Greenwood District have undergone since the first book’s publication.
Publisher site: http://www.eakinpress.com/black-wall-street-100.html
WorldCat: https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1255689607

Tulsa Race Massacre: Topics in Chronicling America
Library of Congress
A research guide on the Tulsa Race Massacre provided by the Library of Congress
Publisher site: https://guides.loc.gov/chronicling-america-tulsa-race-riots