Storytellers Kristi Orisabiyi Williams, Dr. Alicia Odewale, Chief Egunwale Fagbenro Amusan, Gregory Robinson II, Tedra Williams, and Eli Grayson - all native Tulsans, educators, change-makers, and descendants of survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre - explore a 200 year journey from 1821-2021 to discover how the fight for Black freedom in Oklahoma existed in different forms throughout history and into the present. The storymap they are developing examines largely untold stories stretching from 1821-2021 unpacking how Greenwood came to be, what was going on in Greenwood at key points in our nation’s history, and how we got to where we are today. The fight for justice for Black and Indigenous people in Greenwood started long before Greenwood’s creation and continues to the present day as modern day change-makers continue to fight for the boundaries to be redrawn, Freedmen rights to be upheld, reparations owed to be paid, and an overall better quality of life for North Tulsa families.
Stay tuned to learn more about their journey and explore the storymap they are developing.
2892 Tulsa's Storytelling Team
Kristi Orisabiyi Williams
Kristi Williams a.k.a. Orisabiyi is the great great granddaughter of Creek Freedmen, 1874 Supreme Court Justice Jesse Franklin (Dawes #1567) and also the great granddaughter of Cherokee citizens Lillie Vann (Dawes #2736) and Abraham "Abe" Mayberry, a World War 1 Veteran. She is a community activist/advocate/organizar, author, political consultant and campaign manager for Tulsa’s District 1 Councilor Vanessa Hall Harper as well as a bestselling author of Healing Me for Me, published in 2015. She serves as Chairperson of the Greater Tulsa African American Affairs Commission and is a member and organizer of the 1921 Tulsa Mass Graves Investigation Committee. Her previous affiliations as the Chair to Tulsa’s Coalition for Social Justice spearheaded the efforts to rename the Brady District in Tulsa, Oklahoma and prevailed. In 2014, she was awarded, “Community Activist of The Year,” from the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. She has been a featured speaker for YWCA’s Stand Against Racism Campaign, Embrace Yourself Foundation as well as a panelist for race relations and activism/advocacy.
She has worked with Lebron James Spring Hill Company and CNN Films documentary, "Dreamland: The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street." And is currently working on a documentary with PBS about Greenwood. She remains driven and encouraged to speak out against injustices on all fronts.
Dr. Alicia Odewale
Dr. Odewale is a Tulsa native who graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 2006 and received her PhD from the University of Tulsa in 2016. She is the great grandniece of Robert Ware, who attended Dunbar Grade School and survived the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921. She is now an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Tulsa, specializing in African Diaspora archaeology in the Caribbean and Southeastern United States with a theoretical focus on community-centered, restorative justice, anti-racist and Black feminist archaeology. Since 2014, she has been researching archaeological sites related to Afro-Caribbean heritage on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands but continues to research sites of Black heritage in her home state of Oklahoma. Her latest research project based in Tulsa, Oklahoma works alongside other local Tulsans to reanalyze historical evidence from the aftermath of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, launch new community-based archaeological investigations in the historic Greenwood district, and use radical mapping techniques to visualize the impact of the massacre through time on the landscape of Greenwood. Her research interests include the archaeology of enslavement and freedom in urban contexts, Caribbean archaeology, rural and urban comparative analyses, community-based archaeology, ceramic analysis, transferware studies, mapping historical trauma from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, restorative justice and auto-archaeology, and investigations into different forms of cultural resistance. She is the co-creator of the #TulsaSyllabus, an online resource guide that dives into the history and archaeology of Black enslavement, landownership, anti-black violence, and the rise of prosperous Black communities in Oklahoma.
Chief Egunwale Amusan
Consultant and History Recovery Specialist Chief Egunwale Amusan is a highly sought-after expert who is committed to the positive transformation regarding the Global African Identity. As a key influencer in the Black Wall Street movement, Amusan serves as Adviser to the Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce Co-founder of the Black Wall Street Memorial March Weekend, which has been active for 25 years in fulfilling its mission is to preserve the history of Greenwood. Co-founder and Owner of The Real Black Wall Street Tour Board member at the Center for Public Secrets.
Chief Amusan is an entrepreneur and on the advisory board for Our Black Truth Social Media Platform.Chief Amusan is a member of the Tulsa Remembrance Coalition, working in Partnership with Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative Soil Collection Project. Currently working as a consultant for writer producer Tricia Woodgett and writer/director Darnell Martin in the creation of a feature film about the legacy of Greenwood, Tulsa. Chief Amusan is a certified Traditional Ancestral Chief. Title bestowed in 2012 in Abeokuta, Nigeria.
He is President of the African Ancestral Society with branches in Oklahoma, Dallas, Houston, Louisiana, and Kentucky. The Society has a social justice arm that works closely with the Terence Crutcher Foundation, HRW (Human Rights Watch), ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), and LDF (Legal Defense and Educational Fund).
Gregory Robinson II
The son of an activist and an accountant Greg Robinson, II attacks injustice with passion and precision. Like his late father (Greg Robinson, Sr), “little Greg” is unafraid to speak up for the oppressed and underserved but his mother’s (Debra Kawee Robinson) strength and selflessness despite her physical limitations inspires Greg’s work the most.A proud Tulsa native, Greg earned a Bachelor of Science in History from The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Highlighted by experiences on both the Obama and Clinton campaigns, Greg spent a decade sharpening his organizing and community building skills working as an organizer and political strategist across the country.Following the killing of Terence Crutcher, Sr. Greg could no longer justify fighting injustice across the country while his hometown (Tulsa, OK) struggled to loose itself from the problematic mindsets that continue to create generational trauma and distrust among Tulsans. Upon his return home, Greg joined Met Cares, an organization committed to transforming the social and academic outcomes of North Tulsa’s families. Greg assisted Met Cares in opening its first school: Greenwood Leadership Academy. After leading recruitment efforts for GLA, Greg crafted the Met Cares organizing approach and launched the Parent & Community Action Team Fellowship (PCAT) to address critical issues facing North Tulsa. Frustrated by the lack of advancement for Black Tulsans in the wake of the Tulsa Race Massacre, Greg founded Standpipe Hill Strategies, LLC (2021) where he currently supports community based development initiatives across educational, economic, and political sectors.
Beyond the Map
Explore additional stories by and about the Tulsa storytellers and their journey.
Written by Kristi Orisabiyi Williams for National Geographic Education.
Written by Dr. Alicia Odewale for National Geographic Education.