Journalist Mary Parrish was an eyewitness in 1921 when white supremacists razed to the ground Black Wall Street: a thriving, prosperous, predominantly Black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Nation Must Awake—contributed to in part by Parrish’s great-granddaughter Anneliese M. Bruner—is a collection of Parrish’s and others’ written, firsthand accounts of the horrific, racist, three-day event that until only too recently became more widely recognized and discussed. Nearly twenty years earlier, in 1898, Wilmington, North Carolina, had developed into a beacon of post–Civil War, Reconstruction-era promise: a strong, bustling, mixed-race port city with a growing Black middle class, Black-owned periodicals of record, and Black members of local government and law enforcement. That was, at least, until an op-ed in Black-owned paper the Record remarked positively on romantic relationships between races, which triggered a violent, far-reaching white-supremacist response that completely upended and reversed Wilmington’s progress.
Join Bruner and Pulitzer Prize winner David Zucchino (Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy) as they discuss both events and talk about their legacies and implications today.
Sponsored by PBS
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Anneliese M. Bruner, David Zucchino, The Nation Must Awake: My Witness to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy