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It Didn’t Happen Over Night: The Tulsa Race Massacre

05/31 @ 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to technical complications, this program was not able to occur. Stay tuned for updates.

Dr. Peggy Brooks-Bertram will re-introduce The Tulsa Massacre not as an isolated event, but as an event “in the making” over a period of years with this presentation. She will describe how this feeling of “race-hatred” by white Oklahomans was crystalized through the government, the arts, the stage and the silent screen; especially through the works of Rev. Thomas Dixon – namely his film The Birth of a Nation. Additionally, through his novels and stage plays including The Sins of the Father, The Leopard’s Spots, and others.  These novels, and stage plays and the silent film helped to create atmospheres of violence against the Black community that supported both the brazen robbery and massacre of innocent Black townspeople by white citizens on those fateful days in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Dr. Brooks-Bertram will also introduce Drusilla Dunjee-Houston the one Black woman who barely escaped the massacre and went on to write extensive, fearless critiques of the Tulsa violence and commemorated the massacre with a never-before-read screenplay designed to refute the film Birth of a Nation and the Dixon plays.  Her screenplay is called The Spirit of the South: The Maddened Mob.

Free to attend; registration required in advance on Zoom.

About the Presenter

Dr. Peggy Brooks-Bertram is co-founder and President of the Uncrowned Queens Institute for research and Education on Women, Inc. The creation of the Institute two decades ago, as part of Buffalo’s salute to the 1901 Pan American Exposition has led to the largest and oldest digital repository of African American women’s biographies and photos in the country, indeed the world. She is also co-author of five volumes of biographies of Buffalo’s Uncrowned Queens and Kings and one hundred Uncrowned Queens in Oklahoma.

She is co-author of the ground breaking book written for the first African American First Lady in the United States, Michelle Obama. Recently, she compiled and edited letters from women representing five continents and eleven countries resulting in the publication of the first book of letters to the first African American Asian Vice President of the United States, titled Dear Kamala, Women Write to the New Vice President. The book was published by Indiana University Press. Women from five continents, eleven countries and several islands, submitted letters for the book.


Dr. Brooks-Bertram is also the biographer for Drusilla Dunjee-Houston and her research on Drusilla Dunjee Houston has spanned two decades. Dr. Brooks-Bertram’s extensive research has yielded the largest repository of articles, columns, manuscripts and other documents written by Dunjee-Houston. She recently completed the Dunjee-Houston biography currently considered for publication by the University of Mississippi Press. Recently, Dr. Brooks-Bertram completed preparations for publication of the long-lost Dunjee-Houston screenplay Spirit of the South: The Maddened Mob, a major contribution to silent film history and the only Black woman’s screenplay to refute the Dixon and Griffith silent film, The Birth of a Nation.