Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples with its Historical Racial Trauma
Hannibal’s latest book is endorsed by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission and the 400 Years of African American History Commission, furthers the educational mission of both bodies. The book offers updates on developments in Tulsa generally and in Tulsa’s Greenwood District specifically since the publication of my first book, Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District.
Black Wall Street 100 is a window into what distinguishes the Tulsa of today from the Tulsa of a century ago. Before peering through that porthole, we must first reflect on Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District in all its splendor and squalor, from the prodigious entrepreneurial spirit that pervaded it to the carnage that characterized the 1921 massacre to the post-massacre rebound and rebuilding that raised the District to new heights to the mid-twentieth-century decline that proved to be a second near-fatal blow to the current recalibration and rebranding of a resurgent, but differently configured, community.
Tulsa’s trajectory may be instructive for other communities, similarly seeking to address their own histories of racial trauma. Conversely, Tulsa may benefit from learning more about the paths taken by other communities. Through sharing and synergy, we stand a better chance of doing the work necessary to spur healing and move farther toward the reconciliation of which we so often speak.
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Juxtaposed against the grim realities of black life at the turn of the twentieth century, the lives of George and Lena Sawner shone like the blazing sun on an oven-hot August day in Oklahoma. Educated, professional, and economically stable—well-off by most standards—the Sawners lived the American dream, accompanied, periodically, by nightmarish reminders of the realities of race.
The couple owned a home, rental property, stocks, businesses, and two cars. They hobnobbed with local, state, and national dignitaries. They vacationed in faraway places like Montreal, Canada. The Sawners excelled in their respective spheres and claimed the social, political, and economic accoutrements commensurate with their successes. Material trappings and stature aside, the Sawners never severed their roots.
Despite their undeniable attainments, the Sawners, like other African Americans in Oklahoma, often swam against the current, regularly battling waves of bigotry and intolerance. Reminiscent of the Jim Crow South, the political waters in Oklahoma, particularly as they cascaded over racial matters, became increasingly contaminated.
This is their story–a tale of triumph amidst a backdrop of tragedy. George and Lena Sawner lived and, through their living, enhanced and enriched our lives in ways great and small.
Johnson traces historical relations between African Americans and Native Americans, particularly in Oklahoma, “Indian Country.” He examines some of the legal, political, economic, social, and moral isThrough context-setting text and scores of captioned photographs, Images of America: Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District provides a basic foundation for those interested in the history of Tulsa, its African American community, and race relations in the modern era. The Tulsa experience is, in many ways, emblematic of others throughout the country.
Particularly for students, the book can be an entry point into what is a fascinating piece of American history and a gateway to discoveries about race, interpersonal relations, and shared humanity.
Available for purchase at www.arcadiapublishing.com
To order your autographed copies of Images of America: Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District, retailers may order at 888-313-2665 or email@example.com and individuals may shop online at www.arcadiapublishing.com. Contact Hannibal B. Johnson at 918.585.3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To book Mr. Johnson for speaking engagements, contact Arlene Johnson, 918.493.1994 or email@example.com.
Apartheid in Indian Country? Seeing Red over Black Disenfranchisement
Johnson traces historical relations between African Americans and Native Americans, particularly in Oklahoma, “Indian Country.” He examines some of the legal, political, economic, social, and moral issues surrounding the present controversy over the tribal citizenship of the Freedmen. Wrestling with the issues surrounding Freedmen identity and rights will illuminate and advance the American dialogue on race and culture.
Available for purchase on Amazon
To order your autographed copies of Apartheid in Indian Country?: Seeing Red over Black Disenfranchisement, contact Hannibal B. Johnson at 918.585.3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To book Mr. Johnson for speaking engagements, contact Arlene Johnson, 918.493.1994 or email@example.com.
IncogNegro: Poetic Reflections on Race & Diversity in America
One of the ways that we may come to understand and appreciate diversity is to listen to the narratives others have to tell about their personal journeys. These tales shape our lives. IncogNegro recounts, poetically, familiar struggles with race and diversity. Listen. Listening breeds empathy, evokes compassion and moves us a step closer to walking the proverbial mile in someone else’s shoes. Everything begins with that first step. Ultimately, like actors on the world stage, each of us has some role, however small, to play in fostering an accepting, inclusive and diverse community.
Now Available at Barnes and Noble
To order your autographed copies of IncogNegro, contact Hannibal B. Johnson at 918.585.3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To book Mr. Johnson for speaking engagements, contact Arlene Johnson, 918.493.1994 or email@example.com.
Examines the life and legacy of some of America’s best known all-Black towns. Prominently in Kansas, then principally in Oklahoma, all-Black towns founded by Black seekers mushroomed in the post-Reconstruction era. Weary Southern migrants formed their own frontier communities, largely self-sustaining. Black towns offered hope-hope of full citizenship; hope of self-governance; and hope of full participation, through land ownership, in the American dream.
Despite an auspicious beginning, the all-Black town movement crested between 1890 and 1910, a time when American capitalism transitioned from agrarian to urban. This and a host of other social and economic factors ultimately sealed the fates of these unique, historic oases. Many perished. Most faded. Only the strong survived. The few that remain serve as testaments to the human spirit and monuments to the power of hope, faith, and community.
Black Wall Street
traces the history of Tulsa’s African-American community, renowned nationally in the early twentieth century for its preeminent Black entrepreneurs. Tulsa was the site of the worst race riot in American history in 1921. Some 300 people were killed and property damage ran into the millions. Tulsa’s African-Americans overcame. The Greenwood District was rebuilt and, by 1942, boasted 242 Black-owned and Black-operated business establishments. The book is a testament to the human spirit.
For additional information on Black Wall Street, click here.
tells the story of the development, destruction, and rebuilding of a dynamic neighborhood from a child’s perspective. Based on actual historical events, it is a positive, life-affirming book. Readers will discover what it means to be part of a community, with all its ups and downs. The book demonstrates many of the timeless virtues we all cherish, not just for ourselves, but for our children: faith, determination, integrity, humility, and compassion.
No Place Like Home
Revolves around Charles “Charlie” Jackson, a twelve-and-a-half-year-old from Boley, Oklahoma, one of America’s best-known all-Black towns. The story is historical fiction, set in 1920. Today Boley, once a thriving Black Mecca, is smaller and more subdued. Still, significant historical footprints line her streets and alleys. Charlie’s experiences illuminate a little-known slice of American history. In the process, they highlight important lessons for our present lives and for our futures.
Mama Used to Say
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In Mama Used to Say, Hannibal Johnson flawlessly captures the collective wisdom passed from generation to generation with a beguiling blend of wit, wisdom, and insight. Following each of the heartwarming, nostalgic narratives are the most quotable of quotes–the very words that echo through the memories of our childhoods.
An imaginative blend of Mama’s brand of comforting common sense and her gentle ethical and moral lessons, Mama Used to Say is full of insights as illuminating as they are honest. Both inspirational and touching, the book is much more than just a meditation on the timeless bond between mothers and children–it is a testimony to the instinctive capacity of all mothers to love and to nurture their children not just through deeds, but through the spirited words that touch their souls.
For bulk orders or to contact the publisher of Black Wall Street, Up From The Ashes, or Acres of Aspiration, you may contact Eakin Press, by calling, toll-free, 1.800.880.8642, or e-mailing Kris Gholson, publisher, at 1-800-880-8642 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To order or inquire about Mama Used To Say, contact the author, Hannibal B. Johnson, at (918) 585-3216 or hjohnsonok [at] aol.com.