Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The Rise and Fall of the Not-So-Invisible Empire: Some Recommended Reading

If you are planning on participating in my next online lecture series, The Rise and Fall of the Not-So-Invisible Empire, you can mark your calendar.  We have it scheduled - and registration is now open.  You can register on the OLLI at CSU-East Bay website by clicking here.

In the meanwhile, I want to recommend some related books that are worth reading whether you are planning on joining me for the series or not.

America's Original Sin:  White Supremacy, John Wilkes Booth, and the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (John Rhodehamel)

John Rhodehamel weaves together the rise of Lincoln and the evolution of his thinking on slavery from containment to emancipation to racial equality and John Wilkes Booth's rise to fame as an actor, his growing anger and hatred of Lincoln, and the evolution of his plot from kidnapping to assassination.  This is the first book to explicitly name white supremacy as the motivation for Abraham Lincoln's assassination.  (America's Original Sin on Amazon)

Unpunished Murder:  Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice (Lawrence Goldstone) 

On Easter Sunday, 1873, a band of white supremacists attacked the residents of Grant Parish, Louisiana and massacred over 100 African Americans in what is one of the most horrific episodes of mass murder in the United States.  Although those who sought justice for the victims took the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court, no one was ever convicted - and the resulting Cout ruling (US v Cruickshank) helped create a society in which black Americans could be legally oppressed and denied basic human rights, paving the way for Jim Crow laws and institutionalized racism in the American justice system. (Unpunished Murder on Amazon)

Built from the Fire:  The Epic Story of Tulsa's Greenwood District, America's Black Wall Street (Victor Lukerson)   

Popularly known as America's "Wall Street", Greenwood is a historic district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, During the early 20th century, the district grew into one of the most prominent and prosperous concentrations of African American businesses in the United States.  It was burned to the ground in the Tulsa race massacre of 1921 in which a white mob gathered and attacked the area.  Estimates of deaths range from 75 to 300 with hundreds injured and 5000 left homeless.  Victor Lukerson tells the story of the people who built the Greenwood community and struggled for equal opportunity, the destruction of the community and massacre of its population, and the surviving residents who rebuilt their community.  (Built from the Fire on Amazon)

You can check out the current course offerings at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU-East Bay here.  You don't need to be a member to enroll in a course - and many courses are offered online.  


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