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Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre (One of the Worst Incidents of Racial Violence in the US)

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

A Day for Rememberin': Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day #diversechildrensbooks

Title: Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre

Publisher: Carolrhoda Books

Recommended Grades: 3-6

Where to order: Bookshop HERE


Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa's Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community. News of what happened was largely suppressed, and no official investigation occurred for seventy-five years. This picture book sensitively introduces young readers to this tragedy and concludes with a call for a better future.

Take a look at a few pages featuring stunning illustrations by Floyd Cooper.

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre childrens book

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre Carole Boston Weatherford

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre Floyd Cooper


The Tulsa Race Massacre (also known as the Tulsa Race Riot), occurred over 18 hours on May 31-June 1, 1921. A white mob attacked residents, homes and businesses in the predominantly Black Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event remains one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history, and one of the least-known: News reports were largely squelched, despite the fact that hundreds of people were killed, and thousands left homeless. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MASSACRE HERE. One note: Under the section labeled What Caused the Tulsa Race Massacre, the simple answer is that racism and white supremacy caused the massacre.

Carole Boston Weatherford Children's Books

Author Carole Boston Weatherford is a New York Times best-selling author. She recently released Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe and R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Her 50-plus books include the Caldecott Honor winners Freedom in Congo Square, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. She won a Coretta Scott King Author Honor for Becoming Billie Holiday, NAACP Image Awards for Moses and for Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America, the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, and an SCBWI Golden Kite and WNDB Walter Award for Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library. Among her most popular titles are Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins andThe Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop. Baltimore-born, Weatherford teaches at Fayetteville State University In North Carolina. Find her here.

Floyd Cooper children's books

Illustrator Floyd Cooper: The late Mr. Floyd Cooper is recognized and celebrated every year on the Friday of Children’s Book Week with Floyd Cooper day. The inaugural Floyd Cooper day was May 6, 2022. Learn more here: HERE



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