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Tulsa Massacre Reading List

What's now known as the Tulsa Race Massacre was one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. This reading list is aimed at helping people understand what went on in 1921 and how it's still relevant today.

Long time coming : reckoning with race in America by Michael Eric Dyson

"From the New York Times bestselling author of Tears We Cannot Stop, a passionate call to America to finally reckon with race and start the journey to redemption. The night of May 25, 2020 changed America. George Floyd, a 43-year-old Black man, was killedduring an arrest in Minneapolis when a white cop suffocated him. The video of that night's events went viral, sparking the largest protests in the nation's history and the sort of social unrest we have not seen since the sixties. While Floyd's death wascertainly the catalyst, (heightened by the fact that it occurred during a pandemic whose victims were disproportionately of color) it was in truth the fuse that lit an ever-filling powder keg. Long Time Coming grapples with the cultural and social forcesthat have shaped our nation in the brutal crucible of race. In five beautifully argued chapters-each addressed to a black martyr from Breonna Taylor to Rev. Clementa Pinckney-Dyson traces the genealogy of anti-blackness from the slave ship to the street corner where Floyd lost his life-and where America gained its will to confront the ugly truth of systemic racism. Ending with a poignant plea for hope, Dyson's exciting new book points the way to social redemption. Long Time Coming is a necessary guide tohelp America finally reckon with race"--

Citizen : an American lyric by Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.

The burning : Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 by Tim Madigan

Recounts the true story of Black Wall Street and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, when a white mob murdered hundreds of citizens and decimated the thriving Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

White space, black hood : opportunity hoarding and segregation in the age of inequality by Sheryll Cashin

"A meditation on how America protects and overinvests in "white space" and disinvests, surveils, and stereotypes in "the Hood;" Cashin calls for abolition of these anti-Black processes and bold new investment to repair poor Black neighborhoods and our broken race relations"--

Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink

Isaiah Wilson is, on the surface, a town troublemaker, but is hiding that he is an avid reader and secret poet, never leaving home without his journal. Angel Hill is a loner, mostly disregarded by her peers as a goody-goody. Her father is dying, and her family’s financial situation is in turmoil. Though they’ve attended the same schools, Isaiah never noticed Angel as anything but a dorky, Bible toting church girl. Then their English teacher offers them a job on her mobile library, a three-wheel, two-seater bike. Angel can’t turn down the money and Isaiah is soon eager to be in such close quarters with Angel every afternoon. But life changes on May 31, 1921 when a vicious white mob storms the Black community of Greenwood, leaving the town destroyed and thousands of residents displaced. Only then, Isaiah, Angel, and their peers realize who their real enemies are.

The broken heart of America : St. Louis and the violent history of the United States by Walter Johnson

"From an award-winning historian, a groundbreaking portrait of pervasive exploitation and radical resistance in America, told through the turbulent history of St. Louis. From Lewis and Clark's 1804 expedition to the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, American history has been made in St. Louis. And as Walter Johnson shows in this searing book, the city exemplifies how imperialism, racism, and capitalism have persistently entwined to corrupt the nation's past. St. Louis was a staging post for Indian removal and imperial expansion, and its wealth grew on the backs of its poor black residents, from slavery through redlining and urban renewal. But it was once also America's most radical city, home to anti-capitalist immigrants, the Civil War's first general emancipation, and the nation's first general strike -- a legacy of resistance that endures. A blistering history of a city's rise and decline, The Broken Heart of America will forever change how we think about the United States."--

The Tulsa massacre of 1921 : the controversial history and legacy of America's worst race riot

It all began on Memorial Day, May 31, 1921. Around or after 4:00 p.m. that day, a clerk at Renberg's clothing store on the first floor of the Drexel Building in Tulsa heard a woman scream. Turning in the direction of the scream, he saw a young black man running from the building. Going to the elevator, the clerk found the white elevator operator, 17-year-old Sarah Page, crying and distraught. The clerk concluded that she had been assaulted by the black man he saw running a few moments earlier and called the police. Those facts are just about the only things people agree on when it comes to the riot in Tulsa in 1921. By the time the unrest ended, an unknown number of Tulsa's black citizens were dead, over 800 people were injured, and what had been the wealthiest black community in the United States had been laid to waste. In the days after the riot, a group formed to work on rebuilding the Greenwood neighborhood, which had been all but destroyed. The former mayor of Tulsa, Judge J. Martin, declared, "Tulsa can only redeem herself from the country-wide shame and humiliation into which she is today plunged by complete restitution and rehabilitation of the destroyed black belt. The rest of the United States must know that the real citizenship of Tulsa weeps at this unspeakable crime and will make good the damage, so far as it can be done, to the last penny."

Dreamland burning by Jennifer Latham

"When Rowan finds a skeleton on her family's property, investigating the brutal, century-old murder leads to painful discoveries about the past. Alternating chapters tell the story of William, another teen grappling with the racial firestorm leading up tothe 1921 Tulsa race riot, providing some clues to the mystery"--

Tulsa Race Riots and the Red Summer of 1919 by Kevin P Winn

"The Racial Justice in America: Histories series explores moments and eras in America's history that have been ignored or misrepresented in education due to racial bias. Tulsa Race Riots and the Red Summer of 1919 explores the events in a comprehensive, honest, and age-appropriate way. Developed in conjunction with educator, advocate, and author Kelisa Wing to reach children of all races and encourage them to approach our history with open eyes and minds. Books include 21st Century Skills and content, aswell as activities created by Wing. Also includes a table of contents, glossary, index, author biography, sidebars, educational matter, and activities"--

The ground breaking : an American city and its search for justice by Scott (Historian) Ellsworth

"The definitive, newsbreaking account of the ongoing investigation into the Tulsa race massacre In the late spring of 1921, Tulsa, Oklahoma, erupted into the worst single incident of racial violence in American history. Over the course of sixteen hours, mobs of white men and women looted and burned to the ground a prosperous African American community, known today as Black Wall Street. More than one thousand homes and businesses were destroyed, and scores, possibly hundreds, of people lost their lives. Then, for nearly a half century, the story of the massacre was actively suppressed. Official records disappeared, history textbooks ignored the tragedy, and citizens were warned to keep silent. Now nearly one hundred years after that horrible day, historianScott Ellsworth returns to his hometown to tell the untold story of how America's foremost hidden racial tragedy was finally brought to light, and the unlikely cast of characters that made it happen. Part true-crime saga, part archaeological puzzle, andpart investigative journalism, The Ground Breaking weaves in and out of recent history, the distant past, and the modern day to tell a compelling story of a city-and a nation-struggling to come to terms with the dark corners of its past"--

Hidden Black history : from Juneteenth to redlining by Amanda Jackson Green

"From Juneteenth to the Tulsa Race Massacre, many important moments in Black American history have not been taught in schools or covered in the media. Discover these events and how they are remembered in the Black community today"--

Four hundred souls : a community history of African America, 1619-2019

"A "choral history" of African Americans covering 400 years of history in the voices of 80 writers, edited by the bestselling, National Book Award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. Last year marked the four hundredth anniversary of the first African presence in the Americas--and also launched the Four Hundred Souls project, spearheaded by Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Antiracism Institute of American University, and Keisha Blain, editor of The North Star. They've gathered together eighty black writers from all disciplines -- historians and artists, journalists and novelists--each of whom has contributed an entry about one five-year period to create a dynamic multivoiced single-volume history of black people in America"--

Who will pay reparations on my soul? : essays by Jesse McCarthy

Ranging from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s case for reparations to Toni Morrison’s revolutionary humanism to D’Angelo’s simmering blend of R and racial justice, Jesse McCarthy’s bracing essays investigate with virtuosic intensity the art, music, literature, and political stances that have defined the twenty-first century. Even as our world has suffered through successive upheavals, McCarthy contends, 'something was happening in the world of culture: a surging and unprecedented visibility at every level of black art making.' Who Will Pay Reparations on My Soul? reckons with this resurgence, arguing for the central role of art and intellectual culture in an age of widening inequality and moral crisis.

The black butterfly : the harmful politics of race and space in America by Lawrence T Brown

"This book discusses the long history of the deleterious effects of racial segregation on health in the United States. Author Brown puts Baltimore under a microscope because Baltimore was the first city in America to enact segregationist legislation and because it remains hypersegregated to this day. "Black butterfly" describes the shape of a demographic map that plots Baltimore's population by race: a white central axis with black wings east and west"--

An African American and Latinx history of the United States by Paul Ortiz

Spanning more than two hundred years, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history, arguing that the “Global South” was crucial to the development of America as we know it. Scholar and activist Paul Ortiz challenges the notion of westward progress as exalted by widely taught formulations like “manifest destiny” and “Jacksonian democracy,” and shows how placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms US history into one of the working class organizing against imperialism. Drawing on rich narratives and primary source documents, Ortiz links racial segregation in the Southwest and the rise and violent fall of a powerful tradition of Mexican labor organizing in the twentieth century, to May 1, 2006, known as International Workers’ Day, when migrant laborers—Chicana/os, Afrocubanos, and immigrants from every continent on earth—united in resistance on the first “Day Without Immigrants.” As African American civil rights activists fought Jim Crow laws and Mexican labor organizers warred against the suffocating grip of capitalism, Black and Spanish-language newspapers, abolitionists, and Latin American revolutionaries coalesced around movements built between people from the United States and people from Central America and the Caribbean. In stark contrast to the resurgence of “America First” rhetoric, Black and Latinx intellectuals and organizers today have historically urged the United States to build bridges of solidarity with the nations of the Americas.

We are each other's harvest : celebrating African American farmers, land, and legacy by Natalie Baszile

"In the 1920s, there were over one million black farmers; today there are just 45,000. Baszile explores this crisis, through the farmers’ personal experiences. In their own words, middle aged and elderly black farmers explain why they continue to farm despite systemic discrimination and land loss. The "Returning Generation"—young farmers, who are building upon the legacy of their ancestors, talk about the challenges they face as they seek to redress issues of food justice, food sovereignty, and reparations....As Baszile reveals, black farming informs crucial aspects of American culture—the family, the way our national identity is bound up with the land, the pull of memory, the healing power of food, and race relations. She reminds us that the land, well-earned and fiercely protected, transcends history and signifies a home that can be tended, tilled, and passed to succeeding generations with pride. We Are Each Other’s Harvest elevates the voices and stories of black farmers and people of color, celebrating their perseverance and resilience, while spotlighting the challenges they continue to face. Luminous and eye-opening, this eclectic collection helps people and communities of color today reimagine what it means to be dedicated to the soil." --publisher's website

Defining moments in Black history : reading between the lies by Dick Gregory

In this collection of thoughtful, provocative essays, Gregory charts the complex and often obscured history of the African American experience. In his unapologetically candid voice, he moves from African ancestry and surviving the Middle Passage to the creation of the Jheri Curl, the enjoyment of bacon and everything pig, the headline-making shootings of black men, and the Black Lives Matter movement. A captivating journey through time, Defining Moments in Black History explores historical movements such as The Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance, as well as cultural touchstones such as Sidney Poitier winning the Best Actor Oscar for Lilies in the Field and Billie Holiday releasing Strange Fruit

The Tulsa race massacre by Kara L Laughlin

"A brief introduction into the violent Tulsa Race Massacre that occurred on May 31-June 1, 1921. Additional features include detailed captions and sidebars, critical-thinking questions, a phonetic glossary, an index, and sources for further research."--Amazon.com

Unspeakable : the Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford

"Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history"--

The bone and sinew of the land : America's forgotten black pioneers and the struggle for equality by Anna-Lisa Cox

"The American frontier is one of our most cherished and enduring national images. We think of the early settlers who tamed the wilderness and built the bones of our great country as courageous, independent--and white. In this groundbreaking work of deep historical research, Anna-Lisa Cox shows that this history simply isn't accurate. In fact, she has found a stunning number of black settlements on the frontier--in the thousands. Though forgotten today, these homesteads were a matter of national importanceat the time; their mere existence challenged rationalizations for slavery and pushed the question toward a crisis--one that was not resolved until the eruption of the Civil War. Blending meticulous detail with lively storytelling, Cox brings historical recognition to the brave people who managed not just to secure their freedom but begin a battle that is still going on today--a battle for equality."--Provided by publisher.

A peculiar indifference : the neglected toll of violence on black America by Elliott Currie

"In the United States today, a young black man has a sixteen times greater chance of dying from violence than his white counterpart. Violence takes more years of life from black men than cancer, stroke, and diabetes combined. Even black women are more affected by violence than white men, despite its usual gender patterns. These disparities translate into starkly divergent experiences of life and death for whites and blacks in the United States. Yet aside from occasional flare-ups of violence that periodically hit the headlines, the problem has largely receded into the background of public discussion and has nearly disappeared as a target of public policy. The country has been understandably outraged by the recent spate of police shootings of black Americans. But as acclaimed criminologist Elliott Currie points out, the far more widespread problem of "everyday" violent death and injury in black communities has received much less sustained attention or concern. Yet both kinds of violence reflect the same underlying condition: the continuing marginality and structural disadvantage of many black communities in America today. Our unwillingness to confront those conditions helps to perpetuate a level of preventable trauma and needless suffering that has no counterpart anywhere in the developed world. Compelling and accessible, drawing on a rich array of both classic and contemporary research, A Peculiar Indifference describes the dimensions and consequences of this enduring emergency, explores its causes, and offers an urgent plea for long-overdue social action to end it"--
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