The Ground Breaking: The Tulsa Race Massacre and an American City's Search for Justice by Scott Ellsworth
2021 National Book Award Longlist
2022 Carnegie Medal Nonfiction Longlist
One of The New York Times' “11 New Books We Recommend This Week” | One of Oprah Daily's “20 of the Best Books to Pick Up This May” | One of The Oklahoman's“15 Books to Help You Learn About the Tulsa Race Massacre as the 100-Year Anniversary Approaches” |A The Week book of the week
As seen in documentaries on the History Channel, CNN, and Lebron James’s SpringHill Productions
And then they were gone.
More than one thousand homes and businesses. Restaurants and movie theaters, churches and doctors’ offices, a hospital, a public library, a post office. Looted, burned, and bombed from the air.
Over the course of less than twenty-four hours in the spring of 1921, Tulsa’s infamous “Black Wall Street” was wiped off the map—and erased from the history books. Official records were disappeared, researchers were threatened, and the worst single incident of racial violence in American history was kept hidden for more than fifty years. But there were some secrets that would not die.
A riveting and essential new book, The Ground Breaking not only tells the long-suppressed story of the notorious Tulsa race massacre. It also unearths the lost history of how the massacre was covered up, and of the courageous individuals who fought to keep the story alive. Most important, it recounts the ongoing archaeological saga and the search for the unmarked graves of the victims of the massacre, and of the fight to win restitution for the survivors and their families.
Both a forgotten chronicle from the nation’s past and a story ripped from today’s headlines, The Ground Breaking is a page-turning reflection on how we, as Americans, must wrestle with the parts of our history that have been buried for far too long.