Race Relations Survey

“I have been a student and advocate of the view that the exchange of ideas is more healthy and constructive than the exchange of bullets.”

– John Hope Franklin

In 2011, the John Hope Franklin Center began an ambitious project to survey Tulsa residents on race relations. In all, 2,063 surveys were completed.

The survey was developed by the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation and the University of Oklahoma’s Center of Applied Research for Nonprofit Organization.

Key findings include:
1. “Race relations are poor in Tulsa.”
2. “Tulsa would benefit from increasing racial diversity in neighborhoods.”
3. “The 1921 Race Riot should be taught in public schools.”

The survey focused on comparisons among the four largest racial/ethnic groups in the area — white, Hispanic, black and American Indian.

More than two-thirds of blacks and Hispanics surveyed described race relations in Tulsa as poor. Only a fifth of whites agreed.

When it comes to racism in Tulsa, eight out of ten blacks said they’ve experienced it, followed by seven out of ten Hispanics and nearly half of Native Americans. Again, only a fifth of whites said the same thing.

The survey also found wide gaps between white and other racial groups on Affirmative Action and the portrayal of minorities in the media.

According to most people surveyed, communication is key.

“You can’t heal unless you have communication. Communication with one another is part of the healing process,” said Julius Pegues, board chairman for the John Hope Franklin Center on Reconciliation.