Cultural Recognition of the Tulsa Race Massacre: Background information when reading The Ground Breaking

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The Ground Breaking

An American City and Its Search for Justice

by Scott Ellsworth

The Ground Breaking by  Scott Ellsworth X
The Ground Breaking by  Scott Ellsworth
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    May 2021, 336 pages

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Scott C. Martin
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Cultural Recognition of the Tulsa Race Massacre

This article relates to The Ground Breaking

Screenshot from Watchmen featuring the words Tulsa 1921In The Ground Breaking, Scott Ellsworth notes that for many Americans, the first exposure they received to the events of 1921 in Tulsa came from a dramatic portrayal on an episode of the HBO series Watchmen that aired October 20, 2019. The show received credit for spurring a renewed interest in the Tulsa Race Massacre in the lead up to the 100th anniversary of the event in 2021.

That many Americans did not know about the Tulsa Race Massacre is not surprising. While it dominated world headlines in the immediate aftermath, the story of the sacking of Greenwood and the victims (estimates vary, but it is believed that 75-300 were killed and around 200 more injured) quickly faded from the news. While many major events have generated more than just newspaper headlines, inspiring books, songs, plays and large and small screen adaptations, until relatively recently, the massacre in Tulsa was as absent from the cultural scene as it was from formal media and academic literature.

Many ...

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