Requiem for the Massacre: A Black History on the Conflict, Hope, and Fallout of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Counterpoint. Nov. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781640095021. $27. HIST
June 2021 marked the centennial of the horrific race riot that destroyed Tulsa’s thriving Black community. Longtime Tulsa resident and national college football analyst Young (Let It Bang: A Young Black Man’s Reluctant Odyssey into Guns) writes a personal understanding of what happened, how, and its meaning over the years. He traces how Black people flocked to what became Tulsa’s Greenwood district, a city within the city with nearly 40 blocks of Black-owned and -operated businesses, including offices of clergymen, doctors, and lawyers. Young explains it was a special place—the envy of many and a blot on the white supremacist social order. At its core, this is a memoir that uses his coming to terms with the 1921 riot to reflect on his journey to understand what it means to be Black in the U.S. and in Tulsa, past and present. More than a personal story emerges from Young’s reflections and immersive journalism; he recreates Tulsa as a place where Black community networking succeeded enough to enrage whites to massacre and suppress that fact for generations.
VERDICT This beckons to readers willing to examine whether the centennial of the Tulsa Massacre reflected a reckoning and the substance of change, or was merely a spectacle of lip service.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing