Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre


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A searing new work of nonfiction from award-winning author Brandy Colbert about the history and legacy of one of the most deadly and destructive acts of racial violence in American history: the Tulsa Race Massacre.

In the early morning of June 1, 1921, a white mob marched across the train tracks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and into its predominantly Black Greenwood District—a thriving, affluent neighborhood known as America's Black Wall Street. They brought with them firearms, gasoline, and explosives.

In a few short hours, they'd razed thirty-five square blocks to the ground, leaving hundreds dead. The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in US history. But how did it come to pass? What exactly happened? And why are the events unknown to so many of us today?

These are the questions that award-winning author Brandy Colbert seeks to answer in this unflinching nonfiction account of the Tulsa Race Massacre. In examining the tension that was brought to a boil by many factors—white resentment of Black economic and political advancement, the resurgence of white supremacist groups, the tone and perspective of the media, and more—a portrait is drawn of an event singular in its devastation, but not in its kind. It is part of a legacy of white violence that can be traced from our country's earliest days through Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movement in the mid–twentieth century, and the fight for justice and accountability Black Americans still face today.

The Tulsa Race Massacre has long failed to fit into the story Americans like to tell themselves about the history of their country. This book, ambitious and intimate in turn, explores the ways in which the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre is the story of America—and by showing us who we are, points to a way forward.

Title:Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Reviews

  • Kelly

    Essential YA nonfiction. Colbert crafts and immersive and painful reality of the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, weaving together the history of Oklahoma, Tulsa, Black history, and how what happened on June 1...

  • Sahitya

    I actually don’t wanna say much about this book except it’s an important part of history that needs to be remembered, so do give this book a try if you wanna know more about the community of Green...

  • Erin

    Giveaway Win!...

  • Kim

    I so wish that this book could be in the hands of readers in time for this weekend’s centennial remembrance of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Colbert’s meticulous research and engaging voice shine a muc...

  • HaileyAnne

    I have no words.I was born and raised in the Tulsa area and I'd never even heard of these events until recently. It breaks my heart to think that I've been to this area and had no idea what took place...

  • Never Without a Book

    Add this book to your TBR. I promise you won't regret it!...

  • Nicole

    An excellent work of YA nonfiction that should be part of everyone's curriculum. The author does a skillful job of providing a clear and comprehensive account of the events of the massacre, while also...

  • Nikki S

    I'm worried for how this amazing book is going to be looked down on in Texas. But I'm going to do my best to make sure it gets in as many kids' hands as possible. This needs to be required reading in ...

  • Kellee Moye

    A must buy for all middle and high school classroom and school libraries. Well-written, engaging, truthful, and extremely well-researched. ...

  • Kenya

    Wow. This book absolutely gutted me. I picked up this book 1. Because I wanted to learn more about the Tulsa Race Massacre and 2. I'm a fan of Brandy Colbert. Both reasons were validated upon reading ...