Printer Friendly

Bone to Pick: Of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Reparation, and Revenge.

Bone to Pick: Of Forgiveness Reconciliation, Reparation and Revenge. by Ellis Cose, Atria Books, April 2004 $22.00, ISBN 0-743-47066-4

In 2000, my 17-year-old son was wrestling with self-identity. Hip hop and rap, spreading their accretive gospel of preening commercialism and misogynistic narcissism, were still in ascendancy. So I took my son to Tulsa. The occasion was a dinner in Oklahoma City celebrating the survivors of the Tulsa race riot of 1921. Don Ross, a now retired Oklahoma state legislator, had invited me. Ross figures in Bone to Pick as the voice of advocacy and reason as to the merit of the state and city awarding reparations to those who survived the atrocities.

In his description of the destruction of Greenwood, the successful African American community in Tulsa that suffered the jealous wrath of its European American neighbors, Ellis Cose is in his dement. He dearly knows America's psychology in the way of Du Bois's "double consciousness." He has a reporter's eye for detail, a keen sense of phrasing, and his use of language here and throughout the book, is lucid and, at times, elegant. Bone to Pick examines intolerance, cruelty and the possibilities of forgiveness and redemption.

Cose's case studies range flora courageous individuals who have suffered horrific personal losses to intolerable acts of state sponsored slaughter. Cose allows room to hear the voices of vengeance. Nor does he omit dissenting voices. For example, those who rejected South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a feckless response to the aftermath of apartheid are present as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who headed it.

Bone to Pick touches down on several continents and artfully captures intimate portraits of courageous human beings. Though my son's mental and emotional landscapes were broadened from seeing Greenwood and then meeting the over 80-year-old survivors, his time there was too brief. As competent and compelling as Cose's study is, there are analytical moments that would have benefited from a more lengthy immersion in political history and culture. Still, it is an excellent, thought provoking read.

--Reviewed by Khalil Abdullah Khalil Abdullah is a writer, editor and business development consultant in Washington, D.C.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Cox, Matthews & Associates
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Abdullah, Khalil
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:358
Previous Article:The vision to build wealth: a financial journalist deconstructs the making of a media mogul.
Next Article:A Right Worthy Grand Mission: Maggie Lena Walker and the Quest for Black Economic Empowerment.
Topics:


Related Articles
BETWEEN VENGEANCE AND FORGIVENESS: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence.
Living the dream through life's challenges: lessons from Bishop Tutu, a successful African American businessman and other diverse followers of Dr....
Gobodo-Madikizela, Pumla. A human being died that night.
We must all look to our wrongs.
Forgiveness and reconciliation as applied to national and international conflicts.
Beyond Impunity: An Ecumenical Approach to Truth, Justice and Reconciliation.
Reflections on Forgiveness and Spiritual Growth.
Forgiveness and reconciliation as applied to national and international conflicts.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters