Weekend Pick August 12, 2022
Check out our weekly suggestions!
Are your students looking for book recommendations?
Send them to browse through the picks for this or past years.
For the picks from 2021 click here
For the picks from 2020 click here.
For older picks click from 2019 click here.
For the even older picks click here.
the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race by Alverne Ball & Stacey Robinson
I’ve spent the better part of my summer working with educators from around the US and Europe on the topic of “teaching during troubled times.” While grounded in the work of Holocaust studies, we spent a considerable amount of time looking at how aspects of the Holocaust parallel many atrocities committed on American soil. Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre was one we focused on.
In my attempt to diversify the history my eighth grade ELA students have access to, I was thrilled to be the winner of a classroom set of Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre by Alverne Ball & Stacey Robinson from ALAN’s 2021 virtual conference.
This nonfiction comic is a quick read that showcases the details of how Greenwood, Oklahoma was built up by African Americans succeeding regardless of enormous adversity. The narrative is told in simple sentences with names in bold, which gives students easy to find keywords for further research. The images are full color with positive representations of African Americans front and center.
The graphic novel also gives voice to those affected by the horrible destruction of the community and people of Greenwood and the resilience it took to rebuild. After the narrative is the essay “In Search of Our Fathers’ Gardens” by Reynaldo Anderson and Dr. Colette Yellow Robe that gives a more indepth look at how “the invasion and destruction of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921 is a legacy of white supremacy and systematic racism in the United States toward people of African descent and American Indians” (49).
I can’t wait to bring this one to my classes as a way to explore a part of American history that is tragically overlooked, and as a way to spark great conversations about how violations against human rights often take similar routes in their modes to oppress and exterminate people.