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Reconstructing the Dreamland: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921

Reconstructing the Dreamland: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot was the country's bloodiest civil disturbance of the century. Leaving perhaps 150 dead, 30 city blocks burned to the ground, and more than a thousand families homeless, the riot represented an unprecedented breakdown of the rule of law. It reduced the prosperous black community of Greenwood, Oklahoma, to rubble.

In Reconstructing the Dreamland, Alfred Brophy draws on his own extensive research into contemporary accounts and court documents to chronicle this devastating riot, showing how and why the rule of law quickly eroded. Brophy offers a gut-wrenching portrait of mob violence and racism run amok, both on the night of the riot and the morning after, when a coordinated sunrise attack, accompanied by airplanes, stormed through Greenwood, torching and looting the community. Equally important, he shows how the city government and police not only permitted the looting, shootings, and burning of Greenwood, but actively participated in it. The police department, fearing that Greenwood was erupting into a "negro uprising" (which Brophy shows was not the case), deputized white citizens haphazardly, gave out guns and badges with little background check, or sent men to hardware stores to arm themselves. Likewise, the Tulsa-based units of the National Guard acted unconstitutionally, arresting every black resident they could find, leaving Greenwood property vulnerable to the white mob, special deputies, and police that followed behind and burned it.

Brophy's revelations and stark narrative of the events of 1921 bring to life an incidence of racial violence that until recently lay mostly forgotten. Reconstructing the Dreamland concludes with a discussion of reparations for victims of the riot. That case has implications for other reparations movements, including reparations for slavery.

Synopsis:

The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot was the country's bloodiest civil disturbance of the century. Thirty city blocks were burned to the ground, perhaps 150 died, and the prosperous black community of Greenwood, Oklahoma, was turned to rubble.

Brophy draws on his own extensive research into contemporary accounts and court documents to chronicle this devastating riot, showing how and why the rule of law quickly eroded. Brophy shines his lights on mob violence and racism run amok, both on the night of the riot and the following morning. Equally important, he shows how the city government and police not only permitted looting, shootings, and the burning of Greenwood, but actively participated in it by deputizing white citizens haphazardly, giving out guns and badges, or sending men to arm themselves. Likewise, the National Guard acted unconstitutionally, arresting every black resident they found, leaving property vulnerable to the white mob.

Brophy's stark narrative concludes with a discussion of reparations for victims of the riot through lawsuits and legislative action. That case has implications for other reparations movements, including reparations for slavery.

"Recovers a largely forgotten history of black activism in one of the grimmest periods of race relations.... Linking history with advocacy, Brophy also offers a reasoned defense of reparations for the riot's victims."--Washington Post Book World

About the Author

Alfred L. Brophy is Professor of Law at the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa. An authority on the 1921 riot, he contributed to the report to the Tulsa Race Riot Commission, a body created by the Oklahoma Legislature to investigate the riot and make recommendations for reparations.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Randall Kennedy

Acknowledgements

Prologue

1. Seeking Justice and the Origins of the Riot

2. "Thinking He Can Whip The World": The Riot

3. Picturing the Riot

4. "A White Wash Brush and a Big One in Operation in Tulsa": Tulsa Interprets the Riot

5. Tulsa Will! Tulsa Will? Tulsa Will Dodge: The Failure of Reconstruction

Epilogue

Notes

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195146851
Subtitle:
The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, Race Reparations, and Reconciliation
Author:
Brophy, Alfred L.
Author:
null, Randall
Author:
null, Alfred L.
Author:
Kennedy, Randall
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Location:
Oxford
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Law | Civil Rights Law
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
106-3
Publication Date:
20020214
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
15 halftones/line illus
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
9.49x6.42x.84 in. .95 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » American Studies » General

Reconstructing the Dreamland: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921
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Product details 208 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195146851 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot was the country's bloodiest civil disturbance of the century. Thirty city blocks were burned to the ground, perhaps 150 died, and the prosperous black community of Greenwood, Oklahoma, was turned to rubble.

Brophy draws on his own extensive research into contemporary accounts and court documents to chronicle this devastating riot, showing how and why the rule of law quickly eroded. Brophy shines his lights on mob violence and racism run amok, both on the night of the riot and the following morning. Equally important, he shows how the city government and police not only permitted looting, shootings, and the burning of Greenwood, but actively participated in it by deputizing white citizens haphazardly, giving out guns and badges, or sending men to arm themselves. Likewise, the National Guard acted unconstitutionally, arresting every black resident they found, leaving property vulnerable to the white mob.

Brophy's stark narrative concludes with a discussion of reparations for victims of the riot through lawsuits and legislative action. That case has implications for other reparations movements, including reparations for slavery.

"Recovers a largely forgotten history of black activism in one of the grimmest periods of race relations.... Linking history with advocacy, Brophy also offers a reasoned defense of reparations for the riot's victims."--Washington Post Book World

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