Requiem for the Massacre

A Black History on the Conflict, Hope, and Fallout of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massac re

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Pub Date 01 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2022

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Description

With journalistic skill, heart, and hope, Requiem for the Massacre reckons with the tension in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one hundred years after the most infamous act of racial violence in American history

More than one hundred years ago, the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, perpetrated a massacre against its Black residents. For generations, the true story was ignored, covered up, and diminished by those in power and in a position to preserve the status quo. Blending memoir and immersive journalism, RJ Young shows how, today, Tulsa combats its racist past while remaining all too tolerant of racial injustice.

Requiem for the Massacre is a cultural excavation of Tulsa one hundred years after one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. Young focuses on unearthing the narrative surrounding previously all-Black Greenwood district while challenging an apocryphal narrative that includes so-called Black Wall Street, Booker T. Washington, and Black exceptionalism. Young provides a firsthand account of the centennial events commemorating Tulsa's darkest day as the city attempts to reckon with its self-image, commercialization of its atrocity, and the aftermath of the massacre that shows how things have changed and how they have stayed woefully the same.

As Tulsa and the United States head into the next one hundred years, Young’s own reflections thread together the stories of a community and a nation trying to heal and trying to hope.
With journalistic skill, heart, and hope, Requiem for the Massacre reckons with the tension in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one hundred years after the most infamous act of racial violence in American history

...

Advance Praise

A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of the Year


"At its core, [Requiem For The Massacre] is a memoir that uses [Young's] coming to terms with the 1921 riot to reflect on his journey to understand what it means to be Black in the U.S. and in Tulsa, past and present. More than a personal story emerges from Young’s reflections and immersive journalism; he recreates Tulsa as a place where Black community networking succeeded enough to enrage whites to massacre and suppress that fact for generations . . . This beckons to readers willing to examine whether the centennial of the Tulsa Massacre reflected a reckoning and the substance of change, or was merely a spectacle of lip service." 

Library Journal


Requiem for the Massacre is at times overwhelmingly powerful—part exhumation of a horrific past, part exploration of a dangerous present that makes that horror feel not so past at all. RJ Young’s book is a profound examination that’s both historical and deeply personal. It’s an impressive feat—and an incredibly impressive one.” 

—Will Leitch, author of How Lucky


"This fierce book attacks the whole spectrum of racism — from genocide to gentrification — that has colored life in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a century. Young is a curious and courageous local, and Requiem for the Massacre is his intense account of awakening to the lingering tentacles of the 1921 massacre and wrestling with how to help heal a city." 

—Ben Montgomery, author of A Shot in the Moonlight


"Essential reading for the next hundred years." 

—Emily Temple, Literary Hub


"RJ Young has written a deeply-researched history of the Tulsa massacre. He rescues an event that has already crossed over for many into myth, returning it to its human origins and reminding us of the toll of its historical afterlives. A foundational book for any student of Black history and Black liberation." 

—Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of Libertie 


A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of the Year


"At its core, [Requiem For The Massacre] is a memoir that uses [Young's] coming to terms with the 1921 riot to reflect on his journey to understand...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781640095021
PRICE $27.00 (USD)
PAGES 336

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