A compelling recounting that invites and encourages readers to grapple with difficult history.

BLACK BIRDS IN THE SKY

THE STORY AND LEGACY OF THE 1921 TULSA RACE MASSACRE

The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 was not only a devastating attack on one community, but part of a history of violence against African Americans.

The attack on the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, that began on May 31, 1921, was triggered in part by a mob of Whites seeking to punish an African American teenager for allegedly assaulting a White woman. However, this exploration shows that the violence that destroyed the thriving community known as Black Wall Street was part of a long history of brutality and displacement. In addition to describing the event itself and the subsequent active suppression of information about it, Colbert provides important context for the founding of Tulsa, as Muscogee (Creek) people who were forcibly removed from their land by the U.S. government settled there in 1833. The end of Reconstruction saw paroxysms of violence and the rise in discriminatory laws against African Americans, and many sought sanctuary in Indian Territory. By weaving together many elements, this sophisticated volume makes clear that the destruction of Black property and lives in the Tulsa Race Massacre was not an isolated incident. Beginning with the author’s personal foreword and continuing throughout the detailed narrative, readers are guided to see the complex, interconnected nature of history. The clear, readable prose supports a greater understanding both of how and why incidents like the one in Tulsa happened and their exclusion from curriculum and conversations about U.S. history.

A compelling recounting that invites and encourages readers to grapple with difficult history. (afterword, bibliography, sources, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-305666-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Though not the most balanced, an enlightening look back for the queer future.

A QUEER HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

An adaptation for teens of the adult title A Queer History of the United States (2011).

Divided into thematic sections, the text filters LGBTQIA+ history through key figures in each era from the 1500s to the present. Alongside watershed moments like the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, the text brings to light less well-known people, places, and events: the 1625 free love colony of Merrymount, transgender Civil War hero Albert D.J. Cashier, and the 1951 founding of the Mattachine Society, to name a few. Throughout, the author and adapter take care to use accurate pronouns and avoid imposing contemporary terminology onto historical figures. In some cases, they quote primary sources to speculate about same-sex relationships while also reminding readers of past cultural differences in expressing strong affection between friends. Black-and-white illustrations or photos augment each chapter. Though it lacks the teen appeal and personable, conversational style of Sarah Prager’s Queer, There, and Everywhere (2017), this textbook-level survey contains a surprising amount of depth. However, the mention of transgender movements and activism—in particular, contemporary issues—runs on the slim side. Whereas chapters are devoted to over 30 ethnically diverse gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer figures, some trans pioneers such as Christine Jorgensen and Holly Woodlawn are reduced to short sidebars.

Though not the most balanced, an enlightening look back for the queer future. (glossary, photo credits, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8070-5612-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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