Victor Luckerson moves beyond the mythology of Black Wall Street to tell the story of an aspirant black neighborhood that has long been buffeted by racist government policies. Through the eyes of dozens of race massacre survivors and their descendants, Luckerson delivers a portrait of this national symbol of success and solidarity--and weaves a tale about a neighborhood that refused to be erased.
Absorbing ... Luckerson... adeptly takes us through Greenwood’s history, resisting the impulse to glorify its founders or endorse the idea that more Black-owned businesses can repair the ravages of racial capitalism ... By the end of Luckerson’s outstanding book, the idea of building something new from the ashes of what has been destroyed becomes comprehensible, even hopeful.
In cinematic prose, Luckerson follows James H. Goodwin ... Luckerson uses the deadly rampage less as a climactic set-piece and more as a framing narrative for the ensuing century ... Over 500 meticulously footnoted pages... Built From the Fire offers a case study of how present-day Greenwood, and dozens of other struggling Black communities, got here.
Luckerson fills every page with humanity distilled from his prodigious research ... Luckerson holds nothing back in this description of hell, so terrifying that for years, survivors kept silent and such lurid history went untaught.