Book recommendation!

Dated: July 30 2020

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Somewhat ironically, I've picked the release of the Emmy nominations as the impulse for my first book recommendation here. I promise it will make sense though. Because the impetus for this is that the HBO show Watchmen received 26 nominations. If you haven't seen it, it's a great show loosely based on the graphic novel of the same name. A really extraordinary rethinking of superhero tropes, it takes place in a fantasy Tulsa OK. Why is this important? Because Tulsa OK is also the site of the worst racial massacre in the nation's history, the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. The show's opening episode in fact begins with a harrowing recreation of that event. The racism behind the massacre infuses and drives the plot of the show, which takes place in the present. 

Now, how does this lead to a book recommendation? Because that opening scene, besides being extraordinary TV, also reminded and/or taught a lot of Americans about this the Tulsa Race Massacre. Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled with people--largely white, but not exclusively--saying that they'd never heard of the day in 1921 when white mobs destroyed the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, euphamistically known as Black Wall Street, because of the thriving black-owned businesses it held. I, somewhat embarrassingly given that a part of my family is from that part of the country, was one of those people. Learning about it inspired me to want to know more, which led me to the book Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America by Cameron McWhirter. The book tells the history of 1919, when in the aftermath of World War 1, violence against Black Americans ran through the country. That summer was the beginning of several years of violence against Black Americans that led up to Tulsa. 

It's really an fine book that not only tells a history I'm sure many people are unaware of, but also gives historical context to the racial issues that have we still struggle with today. Its a compelling read, and an important one. Check it out...and check out Watchmen. It also is really great, and Regina King and Jeremy Irons are amazing. 

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David Pausch

In November of 2000, I closed on my first house, a rough-around-the-edges 1922 colonial with lots of sun, not a lot of storage, and an enormous oak tree in its postage stamp-sized back yard. From the ....

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