Wednesday, April 26, 2023 6pm
Wednesday, April 26, 2023 6pm
About this Event
66 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138
A multimedia hip-hop project commemorating the 1921 massacre of Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood known as ‘Black Wall Street’ from 2023 Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow, Dr. View. Free and open to the public.
Cosponsors: Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard Dance Center
Stevie “Dr. View” Johnson is a producer, DJ, and scholar practitioner from Longview, TX. He received his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. View is the Executive Producer at the multimedia hip-hop movement, Fire in Little Africa, which includes a commemorative album of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre on the iconic Motown/Black Forum record label. He released his debut album (IN)VISIBLE Man in 2020, and the follow-up to that, TIDY, is scheduled for the Spring of 2023.
For the fellowship project, Johnson will work on Little Africa on Fire, Still, a scholarly and personal study which situates the album Fire in Little Africa as an intervention in post-Civil Rights Black identity and discourse around the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
In the early 20th century, Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood was a thriving mecca of black business. The combination of the oil boom in Oklahoma saw wealth pouring into Greenwood and Jim Crow laws meant those dollars continued to circulate within the black community. The entrepreneurs of Greenwood believed black people had a better chance of economic progress if they pooled their resources, worked together, and supported each other’s businesses. Soon, people like Booker T. Washington spread word around the nation that Tulsa was the ‘promised land’ of opportunity for blacks in America and ‘Black Wall Street’ was born.
In 1921, white Tulsans with the backing of city leaders like Tate Brady attacked Greenwood and burned 40 square blocks to the ground. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands lost their homes or businesses in one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. The scapegoat for the massacre was a 19-year-old shoe shiner named Dick Rowland, falsely accused of attacking a white girl in an elevator which set off the chain of events that led to the massacre of Greenwood. For years, this dark chapter was left out of textbooks as Tulsa attempted to erase this part of its past.
Nearly 100 years later, the massacre still hangs heavy over the city and the scars of 1921 may never fully heal. Miraculously this set of circumstances have birthed a hip-hop scene built on love, community and the legacy of the ancestors that paved the way. Now the Tulsa community is preparing to acknowledge what happened, bring justice to the victims and move forward into the future. Now, hip-hop artists have taken on an important role in leading the community in processing this generational trauma and ushering in a new era for Tulsa with this groundbreaking project.
ACCESSIBILITY: The Harvard Dance Center is wheelchair accessible. Assisted Listening Devices will be available upon request. If you anticipate needing any type of access service to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome the conversation!