Black Church Traditions and African American Faith-life Arts Showcase

Sacred Commemoration for the Centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre

Phillips Theological Seminary Black Church Traditions and African American Faith-Life thanks all the artists who submitted their works as part of a sacred commemoration for the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Members of the Black Christian Traditions and African American Faith-Life committee will serve as judges for the showcase and award a $500 best in show honor and up to $1,500 in combined prizes. Judging criteria was based on interpretation of the topic, originality, technique and composition.

The works will be featured in a video shared across social media and the seminary’s website,

"This is Greenwood" by Dr. Sharri Coleman

"Suffocation Nation" by Awesome Jeremy

"Change for 100" by Phetote Mshairi

Change for 100 by Phetote Mshairi

A century is merely a scintilla of eternity
and centennials are poignant remember-whens
that invoke roller coasters of sensational sentiments.

But what happens when the Centennial has passed, and it’s no longer in vogue to help Black folk?

How do we free the Spirits of Greenwood still beckoning to be released from the sunken place as they climb stairs to nowhere wondering: “where oh where did our legacies go?”

Does anyone have change for a hundred?

I said…Does anyone here have the kind of gumption and change that could transform 35 square blocks of possibilities nestled on sacred Native land, into an Ebony oasis, despite the desolation of discrimination and the ubiquitous caw and claws of Jim Crow laws?

Can you break a hundred? I mean do you have the mettle to break generational curses conjured and regurgitated by learned behavior exacerbated by adopting massa’s verbal abuse and having the nerve to call the n-word a “term of endearment”?

Are you humble enough to hear that you need change?

When someone tells you to “pull yourself up by the bootstraps”,
do you have the gumption, plans, and resources to produce the kind of change that could mass produce miraculous boots that walk on slaughters?

Do you have the resilience of your Ancestors who carried sons and daughters through Motherlands and cotton fields; from sharecropping, to sharing profits in an Ebony oasis called the Greenwood District?

After centuries of slavery and years of Jim Crow, African Americans were told to pull themselves up by the bootstraps; so, they reached down deep into the ash and mire with determination and desire; they grasp the straps and they PULLED!

They defied the gravity of depravity and elevated above envy, isms, and calamities.

We will change the “stairs to nowhere” to somewhere when we follow the example of our forefathers and mothers and be change that we need.

~Phetote Mshairi

oet, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Fellow

"Still Rising" by Jennifer Solis

"Black Wall Street: A Modernized Revolution" by Dawn Tree

"Prayed for Me" by Johnnie C. Watkins, Jr.

"Dig Deeper" by Written Quincey and Liza Villarreal

Phillips Theological Seminary in conjunction with Arts Organizations from around the Country Present the World Premiere of “They Still Want to Kill Us”

On May 25, 2021 at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern, a group of arts institutions across the nation premiered the short film “They Still Want To Kill Us,” an aria by composer and activist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), performed by mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, and directed by filmmaker Yoram Savion, to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. It speaks truth to what transpired in 1921 at the Tulsa Race Massacre, an atrocity all but deleted from history until recently.

The work is being premiered to mark one year since the murder of George Floyd: a commentary on our progress this last century on the issue of race and America’s treatment of Black life. “They Still Want to Kill Us” will premiere on YouTube and Facebook; beginning May 26 it will stream for free at until July 31. Phillips Theological Seminary supported the creation of this work.



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