Books That Inspire 2010

Fire in Beulah
Rilla Askew

Through her historically accurate work of fiction, Rilla Askew compellingly exposes a very dark event in Oklahoma history - the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. Even when the truth is unpleasant, it needs to be told. After reading the novel, I am able to imagine the pain and suffering endured by black Oklahomans at the hands of my ancestors. This takes place through Askew's skillful development of complex yet realistic characters. Askew does not sugarcoat the realities of race relations in Tulsa during the early 20th century. May we all learn from this disgraceful period in our history to ensure equality for the future of all Oklahomans.

From Books That Inspire 2007.

Sophia Morren
Director, McNair Scholars Program
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