Nine linked essays spotlighting the complex history of Askew's home state. From the Trail of Tears to the Tulsa Race Massacre to the Murrah Federal Building bombing, the author examines Oklahoma's narrative as a microcosm of our national saga. Yet no matter our location, she argues, America must own the full truth of our history if the wounds of division in our nation are ever to heal.
Set during the tense days of the Oklahoma oil rush, FIRE IN BEULAH centers on the complex relationship between Althea Whiteside, an oil wildcatter's high-strung wife, and Graceful, her enigmatic black maid. Their juxtaposing stories-and those of others close to them-unfold against a volatile backdrop of oil-boom opulence, fear, hatred, and lynchings that climax in the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.