Notice: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Facing History and Ourselves library service has been impacted. The Facing History lending library is currently unable to fulfill orders. We are very sorry for the inconvenience. We look forward to restoring service as soon as we are safely able to do so.

In the meantime, we have a lot of great digital content and hundreds of streaming educational videos. Please email us at if you need recommendations for specific material.

The Tulsa Lynching of 1921


78 minutes
Source: Out of print

One day in 1921, a young black man, Dick Rowland, stumbled while entering the elevator of a Tulsa, Oklahoma building, accidentally bumping a white female elevator operator. Her startled cries – and the assumption that she had been assaulted – led to the young man’s arrest. Later, a white lynch mob gathered at the jail where Rowland was held – as did a small group of African Americans determined to protect him. A shot rang out, and pandemonium ensued. By the time the dust had settled two days later, more than 300 people were dead and an entire community had been burned to the ground.

Related Content

Democracy & Civic Engagement

What Does It Mean to “Be American”?

Learn how Americans living throughout the country answer the question "“What does it mean to be American?”

Race in US History

Changing Names

Three former slaves discuss their names and the changes they underwent after Emancipation.

Race in US History

Acknowledging the Past to Shape the Present

Learn about two initiatives aimed at confronting past violence and reflect on how facing the past can help shape a better future.

Race in US History

H. J. Williams Recalls Learning About the Rules of Jim Crow in Yazoo County, Mississippi

H. J. Williams, in an interview about living in the segregated South, describes when he first realized that blacks and whites were treated differently.

Search Our Global Collection

Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.