Open wounds

Riot and Remembrance: The Tulsa Race War and Its Legacy.
By James S. Hirsch. Houghton
Mifflin, 358 pp., $25.00.

A  photograph of a burning church ignites the cover of James S. Hirsch's book. The church is Mount Zion Baptist, spiritual cornerstone of the African-American community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the photograph one of hundreds printed to record an act of racial violence. After a burning cross, a church in flames is perhaps the most indelible image of America's racial history. A burning photograph suggests both that we forget the past and that our haphazard efforts at remembrance sometimes stoke the fire.

 

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