Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre

Alverne Ball and Stacey Robinson. Abrams ComicArts, $15.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-4197-5517-0
Ball and Robinson commemorate a grim anniversary in this salient account: 100 years since a white lynch mob killed at least 300 African Americans and destroyed 1,200 homes as they torched the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Okla., a thriving community Booker T. Washington dubbed Black Wall Street. Robinson’s bright artwork showcases the vibrancy of Greenwood, the pages spilling over with portraits of African American dentists, barbers, doctors, bus drivers, seamstresses, butchers, and chefs. “Now more than ever before it feels necessary to shine a light on the people that once lived in Greenwood,” Ball writes, calling to attention the timely publication. After the horrific events of the massacre, Ball ends the history on a note of perseverance, with residents determined to rebuild. With fewer than 50 pages of story line, it offers a glimpse into the past, but the straightforward narrative is notably devoid of, for example, quotes from survivors or their descendants. An essay by scholars Reynaldo Anderson and Colette Yellow rounds things out and provides crucial context. Educational and accessible, this feels well crafted for any American history class, or as a primer for general readers unfamiliar with this dark chapter of American history. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/08/2021
Release date: 05/01/2021
Genre: Comics
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