Tulsa Girl

By Shameen Anthanio-Williams

  • Self published, 2016
  • Lexile: NA
  • Suggested Age Range: 6–11
  • Pages: 56

CITATION: Anthanio-Williams, Shameen. Tulsa Girl. Self published, 2016.

Tulsa Girl is an illustrated biography that follows Tulsa Race Massacre survivor Olivia Hooker as a six year old child in 1921 Tulsa. It recounts her terror hiding under her kitchen table while her home was invaded, and her subsequent fear of going to school afterward. Olivia eventually overcomes her fears by remembering her mother’s fierceness in the face of the men trying to invade their home, and she attends school filled with renewed courage. The emphasis of this book is not the violence from the massacre but rather the resilience and bravery of a female child who finds inspiration from her mother. Although not covered in the book, it’s worth noting that Dr. Olivia Hooker went on to become a psychology professor at Fordham University and also became the very first black woman to enroll in the US Coast Guard. The book is based on stories that Dr. Hooker told about her childhood.