“The definitive book on the subject.”—Washington Post
Historian and journalist Scott Ellsworth and his landmark study, Death in a Promised Land, published by LSU Press in 1982, have been featured widely by the media in the past year. Newspaper, magazine, and television reporters—including those from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Civilization, The Economist, the BBC, CBS’s Sixty Minutes II, The History Channel, and more—are interviewing Ellsworth and hailing Death in a Promised Land as the definitive work on the Tulsa race riot of 1921. The reason for the deluge of attention for the book is that the riot—possibly the worst incidence of racial violence in American history and hushed up for more than half a century—is undergoing new investigation by the State of Oklahoma. An eleven-member Tulsa Race Riot Commission, created by the Oklahoma Legislature in 1997, is trying to determine, among other things, how many people really were killed (some estimate it may be almost ten times the official count of thirty-five) and whether survivors are entitled to reparations. The commission’s report is expected to be released in 2000.
John Hope Franklin (1915–2009) was James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus and professor of legal history at Duke University. For many years he was the John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor of History at the University of Chicago. He served as president of the Southern Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, the American Studies Association, and the Society of Phi Beta Kappa. He received more than eighty honorary degrees. His books include From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans; Racial Equality in America; George Washington Williams: A Biography; and Race and History: Selected Essays, 1938–1988.
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