If you are into history like me, even better when you read about something you didn’t previously have knowledge on, the Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham is for you.
The book goes between present day Tulsa and 1921 Tulsa. Two very different times in Tulsa, Oklahoma brought together by a dead body in servants quarters at the present day antagonist, Rowan Chase’s home. The body connects history, Rowan is half African- American and white, and to William Tillman in 1921, who is half white and half Native American, to the events in 1921 that led to the body being on Rowan’s property. As you read through, it details their struggles of racial identity, Will’s especially, as we learn the KKK are beginning to filter into Oklahoma and he is considered “not pure enough” for neighboring shop owner, Vernon Fish. Also self-awareness comes out, of their own histories.
What brings them together is the Tulsa Race Riots. Parts of Tulsa completely burned in that tragedy and as the reader you begin to peel the layers to this story to what happened to Will and his friends and find out who is the body under the floor. The details and the care the author went through is so evident and a strong reminder that history needs to be told, no matter how confronting it is. You are very much confronted by it, don’t worry. For as Rowan said; “history goes in a straight line, but if we don’t learn from it, then it loops back”.
Until next time,
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