Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford (text) & illus. by Floyd Cooper
This moving account sheds light on shameful events long suppressed or ignored. All collections should consider this title’s value in providing historical context to current conversations about racism and America’s ongoing legacy of white supremacy.
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham.
A rich work that links past and present. After the remains of a skeleton are found in her Tulsa, OK, backyard, 17-year-old Rowan Chase becomes consumed with finding out the story behind the death. As she digs into the mystery, Rowan’s contemporary perspective alternates with that of another Tulsa teen: Will, a 17-year-old in the 1920s.
The Burning (Young Readers Edition): Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 by Tim Madigan; adapted by Hilary Beard
From the publisher: The Burning recreates Greenwood at the height of its prosperity, explores the currents of hatred, racism, and mistrust between its Black residents and Tulsa’s White population, narrates events leading up to and including Greenwood’s devastation, and documents the subsequent silence that surrounded this tragedy.
Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink
A love story set in Greenwood, Oklahoma, also known as the “Black Wall Street,” and against the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.
Interviews and Curricular Resources
Sonja Cherry-Paul, Curricular Guide for Carole Boston Weatherford’s Unspeakable. Lerner Books.
This guide includes discussion notes, author and illustrator notes, and learning explorations for seventh and eighth grade. There is also a page of resources to teach the Insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 with a focus on whiteness, white supremacy, and white privilege, and how that fueled the insurrection and what parallels can be drawn between the Tulsa Race Massacre and the Capitol attack. A pdf of the guide is available free to download.
The Classroom Bookshelf, “Learning from the Unspeakable: Teaching Ideas Centered on the Tulsa Race Massacre”
Weatherford and Cooper’s fusion of art and history bring to light a shameful episode a century ago that allows teachers, librarians, young people, and their families to reconsider our present and reaffirm our commitments to anti-racism.
A Fuse 8 Production, “An Unspeakable Interview: Talking with Carole Boston Weatherford About the Tulsa Race Massacre”
“I do not think that young readers are too tender for tough topics.” Betsy Bird talks with Carole Boston Weatherford and Floyd Cooper about their nonfiction picture book on the Tulsa Race Massacre.
SLJ, “Hilary Beard and Tim Madigan in Conversation on ‘The Burning’ and the Tulsa Race Massacre“
In advance of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the author and adapter of The Burning (Young Readers Edition): Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, discuss their book and this painful part of American history.
Thank you to School Library Journal for these resources and links.