A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Explores an often ignored but significant event in American history. Takes a nonfiction and developmentally appropriate approach to uncover the sequence of events that led to the destruction of Greenwood, Oklahoma, in 1921. Shows a community that signified the potential for Black wealth and success to the rest of the world.
While the book highlights the wicked and hateful results of racism in U.S. history, the author imparts a message of hope and healing at the conclusion. Messages of resiliency and prosperity are present throughout.
Positive Role Models
Many positive representations of families and businesspeople in the Black community, examples of resiliency.
Violence & Scariness
Descriptive language and illustrations show violence against Black people and their community, resulting in destruction of their homes and businesses.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, a 2022 Caldecott Honor Book, is a nonfiction, child-friendly retelling of an important event in U.S. history. The story is brought to life by Caldecott Honoree and NAACP Image Award author Carole Boston Weatherford and Coretta Scott King Award winning illustrator Floyd Cooper. The picture book tracks the progression of the formation and destruction of an illustrious, predominately Black community called Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from the 1800s to the present day. It identifies hatred and displeasure with Black people meeting or surpassing the achievements of White people as the reasons for the destruction of the community.
Is It Any Good?
Author Carole Boston Wetherford brilliantly tackles this palpably emotional and historical event in a way in which children can understand its meaning and consequences. The experience of reading Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. You're drawn in with a sense of familiarity as you learn more about the town's history and as you experience Floyd Cooper's warm and emotionally rich illustrations. Then that's contrasted with the total destruction of the town and the displacement of thousands of community members. This is an essential read to understand more about the culture of struggle and residency within the Black community.
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Our Editors Recommend
Picture Books with Truly Amazing Illustrations
Books About Racism and Social Justice
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