Novelist Rilla Askew will discuss her book “Fire in Beulah” next week as Northeastern State University commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
The virtual event sponsored by the Center for Women’s Studies and the Department of Languages and Literature at NSU will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 12 and is free and open to the public.
Christopher Murphy, associate professor of English at NSU, said Askew has visited the campus in the past as part of the Visiting Writers Program and was a dynamic and insightful speaker.
“I really can’t wait to talk about not only race and the portrayal of massacre, which is incredibly powerful, but I also can’t wait to talk about how race and gender intersect,” Murphy said.
As part of her book, Askew tells the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and the events leading up to it from the perspective of two women, one African-American and the other white. Associate professor of history and director of the Center for Women’s Studies, Dr. Suzanne Farmer, said Askew will discuss her novel and also speak about the racial massacre through a gender lens. Farmer encourages those who are interested in learning more about the impact of the Tulsa Race Massacre to log on, because when discussing the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, it is important to consider the role women played. in launching events, as well as considering the impact on women who suffer atrocities.
After World War I, Tulsa was known nationally as the home of an affluent African-American community known as the Greenwood District.
However, a series of events from May 31 to June 1, 1921 resulted in white rioters destroying almost the entire community and killing hundreds.
Murphy said that while general knowledge about the event began to bubble in public consciousness across the country, as many commemorate the 100th anniversary of the incident, in 2001, when the book was first published, for some then, it was still a little known aspect. of the nation’s history.
Murphy thinks it’s important to learn about the Tulsa Race Massacre, even though it was a tragic and ugly part of the history of the country and the state, and reading novels, like Askew’s, is a way for individuals to deepen their understanding of past events.
Those interested in viewing the discussion can visit the Center for Women’s Studies Facebook page at: facebook.com/nsuokcws or on the Facebook page of the Department of Languages and Literature at facebook.com/nsulandl.
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