UK Happenings

College of Communication and Information hosts lecture on Tulsa Race Massacre

“How the Press Shaped the Tulsa Race Massacre and Its Legacy" is free and open to the public.
“How the Press Shaped the Tulsa Race Massacre and Its Legacy" is free and open to the public.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 1, 2024) — Victor Luckerson will discuss “How the Press Shaped the Tulsa Race Massacre and Its Legacy” at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in Grand Ballroom A of the Gatton Student Center on the University of Kentucky campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Luckerson is a journalist and public speaker whose work focuses on bringing neglected Black history to light. Prior to moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2019, he worked as a staff writer at The Ringer and business reporter for Time magazine. Combining his journalistic background and passion for illuminating Black stories, Luckerson wrote his debut nonfiction book, “Built from the Fire,” published by Random House, in 2023. The book chronicles the history of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, often referred to as America's "Black Wall Street," which was burned to the ground in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

In “Built from the Fire,” Luckerson tells Greenwood’s story through the eyes of families who have called the place home for more than a century and who have endured racial violence, urban renewal and gentrification, all while continuing to better themselves. “Built From the Fire” was named a Top 100 book of the year in 2023 by The New York Times and Top 50 by The Washington Post.

An expert fluent in 118 years of Greenwood history, Luckerson will discuss the role that journalism and the press played in the Tulsa Race Massacre and in solidifying the impact and legacy that the massacre continues to have on the area, its residents and Black history more than a century later.

“As a practicing journalist, it was eye-opening or me to dive into this history and see how racist news coverage can directly lead to violence,” Luckerson said. “But I also learned, through researching Greenwood’s newspapers, about the vital role local journalists can play in covering their own communities, especially when those communities are ignored or exploited by the powers that be. I look forward to exploring both these aspects of media’s influence in my talk.”

Hosted by the UK College of Communication and Information, this lecture will serve as the keynote speech for the 2024 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Southeast Colloquium, set for March 7-9, on the UK campus. Doors open at 5 p.m., and refreshments will be provided.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.