The Tulsa Race Riot

By Duchess Harris

  • Abdo Publishing, 2020
  • Lexile: 707 L
  • Suggested Age Range: 9–14
  • Pages: 48

CITATION: Harris, Duchess. The Tulsa Race Riot. Abdo Publishing, 2020.

This book presents a historical account of the days surrounding the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. It is unique among children’s books in documenting newspaper responses both to the racial tension brewing across the country as well as to the massacre itself. It provides larger print for advancing readers as well as discussion questions and interactive online resources at the end of the book. It also mentions the ongoing Oaklawn graves investigation.The book concludes by mentioning Reconciliation Park and the value that it has added to the Tulsa community.

A few notes about this particular source: it does not seem to reference local archives. Many generic photos are used from Getty and Shutterstock and images, while they have captions, they do not have attributions and may not be specific to Tulsa. Additionally, the book still refers to the event as a Riot, even though it was published in 2020. This in and of itself isn’t necessarily problematic, but it may prompt a conversation with students on when and why the naming changed.

This link is included at the book’s end and directs educators to an accompanying online  resource. The black media resource is helpful, but some curious omissions exist. For example, where is AJ Smitherman and the Tulsa Star?