The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 by Tim Madigan

Publication Date: February 1, 2003

 

The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 by Tim Madigan takes place in 1921. On June 1, 1921, an estimated 10,000 white citizens of Tulsa, Oklahoma, destroyed the black Greenwood neighborhood known at the time as America’s Black Wall Street. The actual number of casualties is unknown, but the cruelty and indiscriminate horror of the attack lived in the minds of the survivors, who lived in a community whose only crime was a success.

I will never know what it is like to be Black in America. In history, it has always seemed like being one of Henry VIIIs’ wives. He would put up with them as long as they were pretty and docile without opinion and if they in any way displeased or bored him, they might lose their head. That, it seems, is a trivialization and I am sorry for making that comparison. It seems in history and now there is a burning hate and dangerous unrest in the white community. This work shook this reader. The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 should be required reading in every high-school history curriculum. I write this review with horror knowing there was no real recrimination for this vile event where the true number of casualties will never be known. Tim Madigan postulates the secrecy may be due to the fear of being very appropriately charged with murder. The least that can be done is for this horrible event to never again be a open secret. For it to be taught and treated with the same abhorrence of the awful, tragic and cruel events in history.

Madigan tells us that people that moved the area soon after were surprised to hear of the event at the time he was writing the book. 

Madigan paints an alarming picture in The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 by just reporting the facts. So how did it start? A black male shoeshine operator fell into a white elevator operator when the elevator made a sudden move. She called for help and he was jailed. Word started going around Tulsa that a lynch mob was gathering. When word reached Greenwood, seventy-five black men gathered arms and made their way to the jail in order to protect the accused. The Sheriff convinced the men that no one would reach the accused and when they started to leave. One of the white men that had gathered tried to disarm one of the black men and shots broke out leaving several men, mostly white, dead. 

What followed seems to have been more organized than perhaps a group of men could have come up with on the spur of the moment. At first, the black community was holding its own but the large group of people entered buildings and killed those they found, wholly destroying the community. Shots rang from the sky from airplanes flying overhead and while the author doesn’t make a definitive judgment, he certainly points out that the men seemed to be receiving instruction from someone.  

The stories that Madigan relates are disturbing. Honestly, everyone should read this book. The attackers were no discriminators of person. They killed children and just anyone they met not their color. White men died too but approximately 75 percent of the casualties were from the Greenwood community. In the aftermath, a commission was put together to examine the events in the day and in recent years reparations were ordered for the community. Madigan is a reporter and relates events in a very factual manner, but the nature of the event is just devastating. Madigan does pose in his narrative that this was Jim Crow America. In 1921, the most popular Halloween costume was to dress up as a Klan member. They were respected and revered and so wrong. We know where the hate comes, from but the cruelty is just not something I can comprehend.

I am aware that this is less a review and more a reaction piece. The work flowed well. The author is a professional writer. I think his attention to detail speaks in the impact on the reader of the piece. Madigan reached out to the victims in his research as well as those in Tulsa at the time (really, the perpetrators have kept their involvement a close secret for years). I don’t think there could be a more complete work covering this horrible event.

Pick this book up today. I don’t know about you, but I am going to work against hate in my community. For those of us who live internationally, please do not see this as an American problem. We all have hate in our communities and we can all work for change.

Read an excerpt and buy The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 by Tim Madigan on

Amazon U.S.   Amazon U.K.   Amazon CA

 

Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2017

This year again, Rabid Reader’s Reviews presents a list of books dealing with human rights. In light of the events, human rights violations have increased and become a pressing issue worldwide.

 

To Live Out Loud: A Novel by Paulette Mahurin

Review quotes:

“There’s an electricity of fear and suspicion in the people. It was believed that Dreyfus would be a traitor because he was a Jew.”

“To Live Out Loud is an outstanding work of historical fiction and a must-read for everyone, especially those interested in the history of human rights violations.” 

Read the complete To Live Out Loud: A Novel by Paulette Mahurin review here.    Continue reading Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2017

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter

Publication date: May 25, 2010

 

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David CarterStonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter, is about a series of riots broke out at the Stonewall Inn in response to a raid by the New York Police Vice Squad Public Morals Division from June 28 to July 3, 1969.    Continue reading Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter

Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016

If you are looking for books dealing with human rights, check out those that have been reviewed on this homepage. Our main post with an overview of books and movies were reviewed for human rights day 2016 will be published later. At the moment, enjoy the Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016 and make sure to visit this site later.

 

Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism by Mark Curriden & Leroy Phillips

Genre: nonfiction, human rights, political science, African-American studies

In 1906, a white woman was brutally raped in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ed Johnson, a black man, was working at his restaurant job when the attack happened but was arrested and charged with the crime. When his lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay of execution and that stay was granted, local folks, led by officials, took the law into their own hands. In a history-changing move, the lynch mob faced federal legal repercussions. Ed  Johnson cleared of the rape charges 100 years later. You can read the review of a “Contempt of Court” here.

Continue reading Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016

A Patch of Blue (1965)

Movie Released: December 10, 1965 | DVD Release Date: November 26, 2014

 

A Patch of Blue (1965)

In A Patch of Blue (1965), Gordon (Sidney Poitier), a black man, and Selina (Elizabeth Hartman), a blind, white teenager, fall in love in the racially charged 1960s.

Continue reading A Patch of Blue (1965)

Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo

Publication Date: March 12, 1987

 

Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo

Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Morte accidentale di un anarchico) was written by the Italian playwright, Dario Fo, following the events that took place in Italy, in the late 1960s. Dario Fo is one of Italy’s most important and well-known literary writers who is famous for employing satire and popular elements within his work. His writings deal with Italian politics and his work is able to attract people from all walks of life.

The book was released in 1970 and the play was first performed in Milan in December of the same year. In 1984, it was staged on Broadway and became Fo’s most popular work inside and outside of Italy. For theater directors, this has been the play of choice when it comes to dealing with corruption.

Continue reading Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo

Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)

Movie Released: October 16, 2015 | DVD Release Date: October 6, 2016

 

dvd_tab_hunter_confidentialTab Hunter’s Hollywood star was on the rise in the 1950s. He was the unstoppable “it boy” with golden hair and a compelling smile. His meteoric rise hinged on keeping the secret of his sexuality. In a tell-all documentary, we get a glimpse of one actor closeted in the public eye and his path to being out and living life.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)

To Be Takei (2014)

DVD Release Date: October 7, 2014

With the upcoming human rights day (December 10, 2016), we will be reviewing several fiction and nonfiction books and movies. We believe, it is more important than ever to take the time to reflect on our past. We achieved a lot, but we still have a long way to go. This is the first review in a series of books and movies regarding the event. If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter, please visit this site regularly in the upcoming days for more reviews.

 

To be Takei, movie review review by Rabid Reader's ReviewsThis is an inside look into what it means to be George Takei. From early life in an American internment camp to his marriage to his husband Brad Altman in 2008, Takei gives unfettered access to what makes an icon tick.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading To Be Takei (2014)

1963: Year of Hope and Hostility by Reverend Byron Williams

Publication Date: July 28, 2013

 

1963 was a key year in the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. Williams highlights events and personalities of the day that may not have seemed connected in his book but contributed to the advance toward equality.

 

 

 

Continue reading 1963: Year of Hope and Hostility by Reverend Byron Williams

The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren

Publication Date: November 12, 2012

 

The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-MorenThe Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren is a coming-of-age story that takes place in the 1970s and 1980s. Jason Lee Rainey’s father was a hero. The senior Rainey was a man who strongly believed in the Civil Rights movement and fought in Vietnam. He died when young Jason Lee was only eight months old. Living in Hadlee, Mississippi with his mother and uncle, Jason Lee must decide despite the anti-black sentiment that lingers if he will pursue a friendship with Samson Johnson. When he meets him at the school the first day, Samson bears the taunts and beatings from the other white children. Over time, Jason Lee learns more about his father, Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement and also that sometimes you have to work to make your world a better place.

 

Continue reading The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren