21 May 1921
It’s difficult to image life 100 years ago. Oh, we can think we know but, we’re informed through media and sometimes personal accounts that bias our perceptions of what was. I’ve read a few recent books about life in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma that reflect mainly on the lives of Blacks at that time. Have we ever felt completely settled in this country with no necessity to judge what may be implied through a look or tone of voice that may indicate danger? As accomplished as the Black residents of Greenwood were, they had to have felt a perpetual unease simply because they had to live segregated lives.
I think if you read any of the recent books for youth about Greenwood, you’ll begin to develop a sense of what was there, what was lost. I strongly recommend all of these books. Also, visit the website of the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.
If you live close enough, plan a visit to Tulsa this summer. If not, find the all Black towns that developed in your state then learn about and visit some of them. There are three here in Indiana and they have such remarkable histories.
Learn more about Mound Bayou, MS, the city Pres. Franklin Roosevelt called the ‘Jewel of the Delta’.
Join your local neighborhood group and be anti-racist.
Do something good.
because we need to rise up and remember George Floyd
and celebrate Memorial Day, a U.S. holiday that begin with Black Americans and celebrate Juneteenth, that
dateless day in June when enslaved Black Texans finally learned they were free.
AAPI Heritage Month isn’t quite over but, let’s keep it going by remembering that AAPI history is 365 days a year.
History starts—intersects and ends—right in our own backyards.
Be well and do good.
Junteenth by Ralph Ellison and Charles Johnson (Vintage; 2000)
Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper (Capstone, 2016)
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis (Simon and Schuster, 2014)
A Day for Rememberin’: The First Memorial Day by Leah Henderson and Floyd Cooper (Abrams, 2021)
Opal’s Greenwood Oasis by Najah-amatullah Hylton, Quraysh Ali Lansana et al (The Calliope Group, 2021)
Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford and Floyd Cooper (CarolRhoda; 2021)
From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo (Norton, 2021)
Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh (Harper Collins, 2021)
Eyes that Kiss on the Corners by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho (Harper Collins, 2021)