National Geographic Releases June Issue, “Reckoning With the Past”

The June issue of National Geographic has been released — ”Reckoning with the Past,” examining race in the United States.

(National Geographic, Painting "Tulsa" by Kadir Nelson) 
©2021 Kadir Nelson (@KadirNelson)

(National Geographic, Painting "Tulsa" by Kadir Nelson)
©2021 Kadir Nelson (@KadirNelson)

What’s Happening:

  • National Geographic has released “Reckoning with the Past,” the June issue of the publication.
  • The issue includes a look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, an essay on the meaning of Black Freedom in America, and a global 10+ year survey, The Race Card Project, which had people describe the meaning of race in six words.
  • The cover is a painting by award-winning author and artist Kadir Nelson, ”Tulsa,” displaying a portrait of three generations of African Americans set against a white background, with the shadows showing images of the massacre in Tulsa.
  • Content of the issue is available online at
  • The June issue will be accompanied by the National Geographic Channel documentary, Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer, premiering on Friday, June 18 at 9:00 pm ET and on Hulu.
  • There will also be a National Geographic Society Virtual Field Trip, Revisiting History, on June 9 at 1:00 pm ET.

What They’re Saying:

  • Susan Goldberg, Editor in Chief of National Geographic: “National Geographic has been covering the human journey since our founding in 1888, and directly tackling stories about race in the last several years. This has led to some of the most forthright and difficult conversations we have had among ourselves and with our readers. But I am hopeful that our coverage will help illuminate the lives of Black Americans and people of all backgrounds, providing insight into the experiences that have helped shape the current moment.”
  • Debra Adams Simmons, executive editor for history and culture at National Geographic: “To better understand where we are as a country, it’s important to examine how we’ve arrived at this place. This body of work — from Elizabeth Alexander’s powerful essay about the importance of embracing our full history and telling the whole truth, to Michele L. Norris’s exploration of how people experience race, to DeNeen L. Brown’s coverage of the horrific racial violence African Americans have endured — provides context for the racial reckoning now underway.”

National Geographic’s June Issue is available in the Race in America hub at