White Riot / Black Massacre: A Brief History of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
by Kris Rose Author
In highly-segregated Tulsa, Oklahoma in June, 1921, a white mob attacked the mostly Black neighborhood of Greenwood. Hundreds of people were killed, and thousands injured. Homes, businesses, schools, and churches were burned or looted. The city government supported the mob, insurance companies refused to cover the losses, and the KKK touted it as a great success. The news media barely mentioned it, and it was rarely reported on or taught about in schools. For decades it was referred to as a riot, and only recently has the more accurate term "massacre" been applied in official documents. This short history creates an evocative account grounded in well-researched details that bring the events alive in an urgent and personal way, as well as detailing what happened afterwards and the ongoing fight for reparations. As we reach the centennial of these atrocities, this zine serves as a reminder that we must all take an active role in not repeating the worst of our history.
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Comments & Reviews
“The perfect gateway primer to a topic we’re still trying to understand in full. Keep reading.”
“Kris Rose gives us a concise yet detailed account of the Tulsa Race Massacre from a very personal perspective.”
“Kris Rose depicts a climate of intimidation, harassment, and racism that loomed over Tulsa as it rose to become the Oil Capital of the World in the early 1920s. Granular details and timelines reconstruct the fateful hours leading up to the destruction of Tulsa's "Black Wall Street" in 1921, but Rose also gives readers the big picture missing from some accounts of this tragedy; that is, the feverish calls for extra-legal persecution of anyone who did not fit the a conservative, Christian, and white supremacist vision of America. Throughout the narrative, Rose sprinkles in reflections of growing up as an outsider in Oklahoma, a place often neglected in the American imagination. Far from being just another "flyover state," Rose gives us this important reminder that Oklahoma represents an extremist experiment in American colonialism. Massive shoutout to Kris for bringing these neglected stories to the fore.”
"Creative" is one of the first words that comes to mind when reading this book. Notice the title, creatively/meaningfully combining the traditionally-used "riot" to describe what happened in Tulsa in 1921 with the word more recently dominant—and more accurate: "massacre." Kris Rose sets out basically to summarize existing works on the Tulsa Race Massacre, but this book is much more than that. So if you want an alternative to the numerous mainstream books written on the subject....here's your book!”
A dense and personal handbook on the Tulsa Race Massacre. As a streetwise guide, Kris Rose adds an edge to the narrative surrounding the terrible events of Greenwood in 1921.