What Was the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921?

Penguin Workshop. (What Was?). Apr. 2023. 112p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780593521717.
Gr 3-7–In the early 1920s, the Greenwood section of Tulsa, OK, was known as Black Wall Street. It was home to over 200 thriving businesses, many owned by Black residents. This all changed the weekend of May 31, 1921, when one of the worst moments of racial violence in America wiped out the district of Greenwood. This book chronicles the time period and the racial tensions of the time, providing contextual descriptions of things such as Jim Crow laws. The horrific massacre is described, when racial tensions led to a weekend of terror in which 300 black people were killed, 800 injured, homes and buildings were burned, and 10,000 became homeless. Tulsa’s government tried to cover up the atrocities with widespread corruption and blaming the victims. Black-and-white illustrations and sketches are included throughout, as are interesting highlights from the time period such as the emergence of the Model T. Gayle tells of growing up as a Black youth in Tulsa and being unaware of the massacre. The Tulsa of today remains segregated, but the oral history of its powerful Black culture is working to educate and keep the history from disappearing. Included are a time line of the massacre with a corresponding time line of world events; a bibliography; and photographs showing Greenwood before, during, and after the violence.
VERDICT A comprehensive account of this important historic atrocity, this accessible volume is not to be missed.

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