AFTER 1921: Notes from Tulsa's
Black Wall Street and Beyond
2021, Archive Acts and VSW Press, 5 x 8 inches, 150 pages, perfect bound, edition of 250 books
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After 1921: Notes From Tulsa's Black Wall Street and Beyond is a hybrid artist book and anthology commemorating the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre was one of the largest acts of domestic terrorism on US soil, resulting in the destruction of over 35 blocks of mostly Black owned business and residences, leaving 9,000 Black people dispossessed of home, land, business and community. One-hundred years later, no one has been charged for the crimes, no reparations have been paid, and justice, still, a century later, has not been served.
This collection of works reflects on and around the repercussions of this long-silenced event. Poet Phillip B. Williams conjures complex relations and contradictions of place in his poem “Often I am Permitted to Return to the City.” A North Tulsan, Timantha Norman writes from a community defined by a single narrative, and responds to the pressure induced by outside actors and forces. Writer and filmmaker, Laurie Thomas, shares two pieces of creative non-fiction, unraveling the nuanced politics of naming and placemaking that shapeshift in Tulsa’s historical records. Writer Liz Blood’s “Oklahoma Standard” reflects on the culture of whitewashing as a state standard made plain in the treatment of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Poet Eder J. Williams McKnight’s three poems scavenge visceral layers of this history, and prompt speculation about what remains to be told. Native New Orleanian, and artist and writer, Kristina Kay Robinson, intimately traverses homeland, revealing the consequences of a place and its people routinely mined for narratives. Playwright, lawyer, and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Mary Kathryn Nagle, considers the repercussions of the McGirt v. Oklahoma decision, in which the Supreme Court upheld that much of Eastern Oklahoma is Indian Territory. The remaining contributions are my own, including an ongoing series of paintings titled Notes From Black Wall Street.
Liz Blood is a writer and editor based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A lifelong Oklahoman, her work focuses on place, memory, and contemporary art. Her nonfiction can be found in Oklahoma Today, Cimarron Review, Columbia Journal, Sierra, and elsewhere. She is a three-time recipient of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship and a former Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellow at the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. She edits Ekphrasis—a poetry and art column at Art Focus Oklahoma magazine, serves as contributing editor at Awst Press and Oklahoma Today magazine, and is an adjunct faculty member at Oklahoma City University's Red Earth MFA in Creative Writing program. Blood holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Art.
Crystal Z Campbell
Crystal Z Campbell is a multidisciplinary artist, experimental filmmaker, and writer of Black, Filipino, and Chinese descents. Campbell finds complexity in public secrets— fragments of information known by many but untold or unspoken. Sonic, material, and archival traces of the witness inform their work in film, performance, installation, sound, painting, and texts.
Honors and awards include the Pollock-Krasner Award, MAP Fund, MacDowell, MAAA, Skowhegan, Rijksakademie, Whitney ISP, Franklin Furnace, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Flaherty Film Seminar. Exhibitions include the Drawing Center, Nest, ICA-Philadelphia, REDCAT, Artissima, Studio Museum of Harlem, Project Row Houses, SculptureCenter, and San Francisco Museum of Art, amongst others. Campbell’s writing has been featured in World Literature Today, Monday Journal, GARAGE, and Hyperallergic. Campbell is a Harvard Radcliffe Film Study Center & David and Roberta Logie Fellow (2020-2021) and founder of the virtual programming platform archiveacts.com. Campbell lives and works in Oklahoma, and was recently named a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Fine Arts.
Mary Kathryn Nagle
Mary Kathryn Nagle is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and playwright. Her play Sliver of a Full Moon has been performed at law schools across the United States, and she has received commissions from Arena Stage, the Rose Theater, Portland Center Stage, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Yale Repertory Theatre, Round House Theatre, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In 2019, her play SOVEREIGNTY was produced at Marin Theatre Company, and the Yale Repertory Theatre produced MANAHATTA in 2020. She served as the first Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program from 2015 to 2019.
Nagle is also a partner at Pipestem and Nagle Law, P.C., where she works to protect tribal sovereignty and the inherent right of Indian Nations to protect their women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault. She is actively engaged in the movement to end the crisis of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. For more information about how to support Kaysera Stops Pretty Places’ family, who have had to undertake their own investigation of Kaysera’s murder because the federal and state police have failed to do so, please visit #JusticeForKaysera She has authored numerous briefs in federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. She is a frequent speaker on topics related to violence against Native Women, the Indian Child Welfare Act, tribal sovereignty, and federal Indian law.
Kristina Kay Robinson
Kristina Kay Robinson is a writer, independent curator, and visual artist born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Robinson’s work both at home and abroad focuses on the impact of globalization, militarism, and surveillance on society and their intersections with contemporary art and pop culture. Robinson is the co-editor of Mixed Company, a collection of short fiction by women of color. Her writing in various genres has appeared in Guernica, The Baffler, The Nation, The Massachusetts Review, Art in America and Elle among other outlets. Robinson is a 2019 recipient of the Rabkin Prize for Visual Arts Journalism. Currently she serves as the New Orleans editor at large for the Atlanta based, Burnaway magazine.
Laurie Thomas is a fiction writer, filmmaker, and first-generation American with
roots in Miami, FL, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Kingston, Jamaica. Her work
explores themes of home and displacement. As a filmmaker, her commissioned documentary short, Black Girl Magic, about the lives of young Black girls was nominated for a National Magazine Award in Video. She is a producer of the short dark comedy, Everybody Dies!, directed by Frances Bodomo, and licensed for HBO’s 2018 series Random Acts of Flyness. Her work has screened at Palm Springs, Seattle, SXSW, and other film festivals internationally. As a writer, Thomas has received awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, MacDowell Colony, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Thomas holds a MFA in Film from Columbia University and BA’s in Sociology and Film Studies from University of California, Berkeley and has published in The Kenyon Review and World Literature Today. She is at work on a first collection of short stories and a novel.
Philip B. Williams
Phillip B. Williams is from Chicago, IL. He is the author of the books Mutiny (Penguin, 2021) and Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books, 2016). Phillip has received a 2017 Whiting Award, the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a 2017 Lambda Literary Award, a 2021 Literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a nomination for an NAACP Image Award. He currently teaches at Bennington College and is a member of the founding faculty for the Randolph College low-residency MFA program in creative writing.
Timantha Norman is a writer, editor, researcher, policy advocate, and North Tulsa native. She seeks to utilize the power of truth-telling in written form to engage with untold histories and unnamed realities in an effort to drive dialogue and illuminate possibilities. Additionally, she is interested in exploring the intersections of law and public policy towards facilitating sustainable movement building and transformative community empowerment.
Eder J. Williams-McKnight
Eder J. Williams-McKnight is an educator and poet who elevates deep learning and transformational experiences. Eder has collaborated with local visual and performance artists, like Crystal Z. Campbell, to produce poems concerning Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre. They have been performed live in various venues such as the John Hope Reconciliation Arts in the Park program and the Gilcrease Museum. They have appeared in print in Art Focus Oklahoma and Oklahoma Today. Eder was a founding member of Focus: Black Oklahoma’s inaugural radio broadcast through Tri City Collective. Eder holds an A.B. from Brown University, an M.A. from the Breadloaf School of English at Middlebury College, an Ed.M. from Teachers College of Columbia University, and an MFA in poetry from Stonecoast of the University of Southern Maine. She has resided in Tulsa, Oklahoma since 2014.