A Glimpse Back in Time (#9): Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham + GIVEAWAY

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Glimpse Back in Time is a feature where I talk about the interesting history behind the books that I read! If you want to see previous posts for this feature, look here!

Today I'm featuring Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham!

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 21st, 2017
Pages: 365

Dreamland Burning is a story about the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. It is thought to be the worst incident of racial violence in American history. It occurred during a period of rising racial tensions and growth of the Ku Klux Klan.

In 1921, the population of Tulsa was over 100,000, with 10,000 African American residents. Most of the African American residents lived in the Greenwood district, an area with newspapers, churches, a library, and plenty of black-owned businesses. 

The riot began as the result of the arrest of a young black man named Dick Rowland. On May 30th, 1921, Rowland was riding on an elevator operated by a young woman named Sarah Page. She screamed and the most common explanation is that he might have stepped on her foot, but despite there being no evidence, white Tulsans believed that he attempted to assault her.

He was arrested the following day and barricaded in the top floor of the courthouse. The newspaper had printed an article that stated that Rowland attempted to rape Page and it obviously stirred everyone up. Armed groups of white and black men began showing up outside the courthouse. The white people were demanding that the police hand over Rowland, presumably so that they could make their own justice. The black people showed up to offer their assistance in protecting Rowland.

The actual riot began because a white man was trying to disarm a black man, causing a gun to accidentally go off. By the early morning hours, the looting and burning of Greenwood had begun, with the police doing little to nothing about it. By the time the National Guard arrived the next morning, most of Greenwood had been burnt to the ground. Martial law was instated and the National Guard began rounding up black people for internment, they also gathered up those held by white rioters as well. In all, over 6,000 people were held, some for up to 8 days.

Twenty-four hours after the riot began 35 city blocks were torched. That included around 1200 homes, making most black Tulsans homeless. Around 800 people were injured and the death toll started at around 30, but is today believed to be close to 300, almost all black.

Despite white people's attempts to drive away black Tulsans, they began to rebuild Greenwood.

Dick Rowland was exonerated, but an all-white jury found that the riot was pretty much entirely the fault of black Tulsans. And despite massive amounts of evidence, no white people were ever imprisoned for any murder or arson they committed. 



Oklahoma Historical Society

Tulsa Historical Society and Museum

Have you read Dreamland Burning yet? Did you know about the Tulsa race riot? I know I sure didn't before reading this book.

After reading this post (and possibly my review if you clicked the link above), are you just DYING to read this book? Well, today is your lucky day because I am giving my copy away! Due to the fact that I already own this book and am giving it away, this giveaway will be US only (but not to worry international folks, I have another giveaway going on my blogoversary post!).

As always, no giveaway accounts will be accepted as winners.

A penny for your thoughts??

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