"The Nation Must Awake: My Witness to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921"

May 22, 2021

On this edition of ST, we are discussing a book that first appeared as a small, privately-printed volume back in 1923 -- it's an extremely important, frequently cited, and quite special book in that it offers a rare, first-hand account of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Written by one Mary Parrish, a journalist and teacher, the book is "The Nation Must Awake: My Witness to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921." In the opening pages of the text, we learn that Parrish was reading in her home in Tulsa's Greenwood neighborhood when the massacre began on the evening of May 31, 1921. Parrish's daughter, Florence Mary, called her to the window. "Mother," she said, "I see men with guns." This book -- which bravely documents the vast loss of human life and property at the hands of white vigilantes, carefully reporting on the horror and tragedy of seeing an entire community gunned down and lost to flames -- is now appearing a new edition from Trinity University Press. This new edition includes an afterword by the journalist and author Anneliese M. Bruner, who is also Parrish's great-granddaughter. Bruner is our guest today.