Tulsa Race Massacre Focus of TCC Common Book Selection

February 12, 2021
With a focus on the Tulsa Race Massacre and the 100th commemoration, Tulsa Community College adopted “Tulsa 1921: Reporting a Massacre,” by Randy Krehbiel for Public Good Reads, a common book program.

Already several thousand students, starting in Fall 2020, have read the book with more students reading this semester and through the 2021-2022 academic year. The common book program is embedded into the College Success course curriculum for all first-time entering students and across other disciplines, including English, history, child development, philosophy, human services, and psychology. Last fall, the book was integrated into some humanities, reading, and sociology classes, as well.

“More intentional than a book club, a common book program has proven at other institutions to be an important tool to increase a student’s success in going to college and earning a degree,” said Dr. Leigh Goodson, TCC president & CEO.

The Public Good Reads program is now in its second year after launching in Fall 2019. While a new common book is selected every two years at TCC, the goal remains the same: to provide a shared experience to enhance civic engagement and build empathy using high-impact learning practices. Those practices include elements such as a collaborative learning experience, service-learning opportunities, and reflective writing assignments. Public Good Reads also incorporates themes of social responsibility as well as collaboration, inclusion, participation, and equity.

“With empathy and understanding as core goals, we felt it was important this year’s book selection address Tulsa’s past as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. It was a horrific event that ended or changed many lives; we hope the developed curriculum helps students make connections between the past and current events,” said Cindy Shanks, TCC Dean of Engaged Learning and program administrator.

TCC received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help the College expand learning and dialogue beyond the classroom with the Common Book Program. As part of this year’s Public Good Reads initiative, author Randy Krehbiel participated in a virtual discussion with a College Success class and sat down to discuss the book with Dr. Kevin Clayton, Assistant Professor of History at TCC.

Visit tulsacc.edu/commonbook to learn more about Public Good Reads and events planned related to the book selection.