I received an e-book ARC of this title through Edelweiss+ through my job as a Librarian. All opinions are my own.
This review will also appear on my website: NicoleLynnReads.com
Brandy Colbert takes readers back in time to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 in her non-fiction title: Black Birds in the Sky. Through historical accounts, photographs, and a critical look at the media accounts as well as the modern-day narrative of this historical event, Colbert brings to light the events that took place prior to, during and after the Tulsa Race Massacre.
What I loved about this book was how Colbert created the context around the event. The narrative wasn’t just a timeline of events, but an all-around look at the environment that led to this event. She gave background on the economy, the political environment, the laws in place and those changing and the social climate in American (especially the South and Oklahoma) during the late 1800s and early 1900s. I really thought this context was key to telling the whole story behind the Tulsa Race Massacre and Colbert did a wonderful job of creating it.
Another thing I enjoyed about this book was the way Colbert brought the narrative of the survivors to life within the book. Using quotes from articles, diaries and other historical accounts, Colbert brought to life the stories of the residents of Tulsa. My favorite part of history is learning about history from those who actually lived it and hearing their stories. Having this aspect within Black Birds in the Sky was such a huge draw for me and I loved how Colbert incorporated these stories into the narrative of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
Lastly, this book brings to life a history that was intentionally hidden – an event in history that I didn’t know about until last year. It allowed me to educate myself and learn about an event in history from the perspective of survivors and residents of Tulsa. I believe this book will just be the tip of my exploration into Black American history and exploring more about Tulsa and other events in American history. Just like I was able to experience and learn about the Tulsa Race Massacre, I think pre-teens, teens and other adults will be able to grasp this narrative and learn from Colbert’s work. I hope every school and public library will be able to add this title to their collection as it’s truly a must-have!