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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
In A Promise Deferred: The Massacre of Black Wall Street by Dr. Tamecca S. Rogers and Keith Ross, a mother and son writing team brings an important story to life in this powerful non-fiction children’s book. The story begins with little Keith going to his grandma’s house for a story. This is the first time she’s told him about Black Wall Street, a thriving Black sector in the business district of Tulsa, in the state of Oklahoma. She tells the fantastic account of how this district supported what amounts to an entire community: 600 businesses, schools, shops, restaurants, libraries, churches, hospitals, jazz clubs, skating rinks, and more. What comes as even bigger news is that Black Wall Street was bombed, then destroyed in 1921. You may be just as surprised as Keith to hear this slice of history and maybe encouraged by the entrepreneurial spirit.
This is a story that needs to be told and heard, again and again. History is full of events we’d rather hide in the closet along with our other skeletons. This one has been brought into the shining light of day by Rogers and her son Keith. The story is simply told, and the illustrations are plentiful, colorful, and perfectly matched to the text. Both have a powerful impact that stays with you long after you finish the book. I like the excellent relationship between Keith and his grandmother and am so glad he got to hear this story from her. The story ends with a set of activities, like word-find and coloring pages. If there’s one children’s book you should read with your family this year, please make it A Promise Deferred: The Massacre of Black Wall Street by Dr. Tamecca S. Rogers and Keith Ross.