Magic City: A Novel

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Jun 23, 1998 - Fiction - 288 pages
1 Review

Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1921. A white woman and a black man are alone in an elevator. Suddenly, the woman screams, the man runs out, and the chase to capture and lynch him begins.

When Joe, a young man trying to be the next Houdini, is accused of rape, he must perform his greatest escape by eluding a bloodthirsty lynch mob. And Mary, the motherless daughter of a farmer who tries to marry her off to the farmhand who viciously raped her, must find the courage to help exonerate the man she had accused with her panicked cry. Based on true events, Magic City is a portrait of an era, climaxing in the heroic but doomed stand that pitted the National Guard against a small band of black men determined to defend the town they had built into the "Negro Wall Street."

Named by the Chicago Tribune as a Favorite Book of 1997

 

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User Review  - VikkiLaw - LibraryThing

Add to my list of Things I Never Learned in History Class: The Tulsa riots of 1921, the existence and destruction of Greenwood (the "Black Wall Street"). According to Rhodes' afterward,for over a year ... Read full review

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Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 70 - try to get away. Dis nigger run, he run his best, Stuck his head in a hornet's nest, Jumped de fence and run fru de paster; White man run, but nigger run faster.
Page 126 - The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.
Page 57 - That ain't it. I just don't like to see you tied up with a broad like that." "Why not? She's just as good as the rest, and you know what they say, The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.
Page 52 - For a few enchanted moments that seemed like eternity, there was no one else in the world but the two of them, as she whispered his name.
Page 50 - I want to be happy, but I won't be happy, 'til I make you happy, too!
Page 215 - She'd done the same living as Hildy — wiped a sink dry, washed greens, cooked with fatback boiling in the water. She'd dusted, hung out wash, folded linens, and nights, exhausted, she'd stared at the same moon.
Page 16 - magic city." A boom town. But her family had always been poor.
Page 29 - For now, it was best not to feel anything. Best to still the scream bubbling inside. Best to keep moving.
Page 270 - I hope my novel inspires people to reaffirm that hatred for any reason — race, religion, gender, class — diminishes us alL...

About the author (1998)

Jewell Parker Rhodes is the recipient of a Yaddo Creative Writing Fellowship and the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Fiction. She is professor of creative writing and American literature and Director of the M.F.A. program in creative writing at Arizona State University. She lives in Phoenix, AZ.

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