If you’re looking for a complete rendering of the Tulsa Race Massacre, with a moment by moment detail of events, this is not exactly the book for you, or rather, you won’t exactly find that in this book. There are other books that give the details more fully. And like a lot violent and traumatic events, the actual events themselves need a lot of context to make them make sense not just visually and in detail, but in cause and effect. The other fear I think in narrating violent events would be either to sensationalize them (or have the effect of doing so) or worse, lessening or desensitizing them. You run the risk of telling about the event, and then having someone respond “Was that all?” Why might you get that last response? Well, the 20th century has a nearly endless list of mass casualty massacres like this one, and many of them involve much higher death tolls, and there’s the idea that “a million dead is a statistic”. And since we are currently in a moment of dismissive tolling of death and qualifying why so many people who have died recently “don’t count”, you have to at least attempt to control for that.
What the book does though is provide a lot of context. Historical, racial, economic, and cultural context primarily. That’s already a lot. It’s also a very directly stated book, which helps too. Lastly, I think what’s very good about this book is that the context that it provides also helps to show this day in the context of our thinking and our current history. How a day like the Tulsa massacre could easily happen again, and is not just a remnant of the past.