Reconstructing The Dreamland: The Tulsa Riot of 1921

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These are the major discussions and reviews about the book Reconstructing the Dreamland: The Tulsa Riot of 1921 by Alfred Brophy: What is the book’s theme; what is the work’s historical significance? Is the author arguing anything new relating to this event?; Describe the period and location that the author is addressing; Describe the various points of view that the author is addressing; Identify the various cultures and explain how they interact; Who is the author; What are the author’s qualifications for writing the book; Who is the author trying to address; has the author researched the subject thoroughly; what references and sources were used and were they used well?

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Discussions on Reconstructing The Dreamland: The Tulsa Riot of 1921

The main theme is Racism whereby the whites appear to oppress the African Americans with the support of the law as it favored the whites in staging an armed fight against the blacks who were pushing for their rights. All other topics which have been presented in the book all add up to the issue of white dominion over the blacks in the society. Other themes of this book include injustice in which the blacks suffered in the hands of the law while the same law deputizing the majority whites during the time of Civil Disturbance[1]. Freedom Movement and search for civil rights is also a major theme in this book in which the Tulsa Riot staged by the African Americans in 1921 has been elaborated by the author, Brophy Alfred. It is mainly reparation towards slavery which the author strongly tries to stand against. A racism theme comes out clearly in the book as the history of Tulsa.

This is a historical book which presents a flashback in describing the happenings in history. While this writing style fits a book of such kind, it can be improved by presentation of dialogue as it happened during court proceedings and the time of the riot. This will make the work more appealing to any reader. The historical significance of this book is that it tries to remind the people of the rots which happens in the American society, and does so by reminding the reader of the Tulsa Riot[2]. Also, specific issues such as oppression, involvement of the police and the support of the whites by the government to attack the blacks by supplying them with arms presents the theme of racism clearly hence giving the book a classical historical significance[3]. The presentations of the lawsuits and all legislative events and actions presented in the book also have great significance. Having learned several issues with the history of the American country, I come into an agreement that the people during the past time faced very many problems which must have caused some of the inequalities faced presently in the country. A number of things go hand in hand with this timeline in history, and the issue of racism appears to hold a better share[4].

In this book, the author is mainly trying to relate back to the riots and also tries to remind the people some of the grimmest events and periods on racial relations in the country. He links this historical development with advocacy whereby he presents a new idea of offering seasoned defense for the victims of such riots in 1921. Basically, the period being stated in this book is the 1921’s riot in Tulsa whereby the country faced one of the bloodiest and detrimental civil right movements. This presents the period of African American movements and progression in quest for equal rights. The other thing is with the points of view which the author is trying to address in his book. The first one is in the need to remember where the country has come from and make sure that does not happen. Also, the need of equal rights is necessary for all and provision of equal resources without looking at skin color. Racism is argued as one of the greatest atrocity against a human being. He feels that a study of the country’s history is necessary for a better future for all[5]. In this work, the major cultures described include the whites and the blacks who appear to be at disparage since one race or culture is oppressed and the reason as to why this riot was held[6]. In return, the whites decided to hold arms and fight the African Americans whereby many deaths were recorded as a result. The need for better interaction was anticipated as expressed by the author.

The author of the book is Brophy L. Alfred who us a Professor in Law, and lectures at University of North Carolina. Having greatly contributed to the Tulsa Race Riot Report Commission, he is acquainted with all necessary information about the miscarriages in justice which took place and also with the exact events which took place during the riot. That way he holds all the necessary qualifications making him the favorite author of this book. In his book he addresses the issues of injustice and how the law failed and instead oppression the blacks[7]. His presence in the commission on these riots gives him all the information which he adopted to write this book.

The must have author researched thoroughly from a number of books and materials such as newspapers and articles on the history of the country. So as to come up with such a book, he must have carried out his research properly since the book presents important information on the riot. For example, the author adopted a book The Burning and Destruction of Tulsa Race by Madigam Tim among others[8]. Finally, I would evaluate this book as a very resourceful material for studying the history of racism in the country. This is so since it has greatly changed my entire perception of the country’s history and also my views on the issue of racism since very many issues have been presented which I had never known before such as the deputizing of the whites while ignoring the blacks.


Brophy, Alfred. Reconstructing the Dreamland: the Tulsa Riot of 1921: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation. New York: Penguin Books, 2002.

[1] Brophy, Alfred. Reconstructing the Dreamland: the Tulsa Riot of 1921: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation. New York: Penguin Books, 2003, p. 36.
[2] Alfred, A. Reconstructing the Dreamland., p. 67.
[3] Ibid., p. 69.
[4] Brophy, Alfred. Reconstructing the Dreamland: the Tulsa Riot of 1921: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation. New York: Penguin Books, 2003, p. 86.
[5]Alfred, A. Reconstructing the Dreamland., p. 87.
[6] Ibid., p. 93.
[7] Brophy, Alfred. Reconstructing the Dreamland: the Tulsa Riot of 1921: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation. New York: Penguin Books, 2003, p. 93.
[8] Alfred, A. Reconstructing the Dreamland., p. 97.

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Reconstructing The Dreamland: The Tulsa Riot of 1921. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved from

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