On the morning of June 1, 1921, a white mob numbering in the thousands marched across the railroad tracks dividing black from white in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and obliterated a black community then celebrated as one of America's most prosperous. Nearly 80 years later, the death toll of what is known as the Tulsa Race Riot is very difficult to pinpoint. Conservative estimates put the number of dead at about 100 (75% of the victims are believed to have been black), but the actual number of casualties could be tripled. Whatever the final count, it is certain that atrocities of the massacre rivaled the worst of wartime. With chilling details, humanity, and the narrative thrust of compelling fiction, The Burning recreates the town of Greenwood at the height of its prosperity, explores the currents of hatred, racism, and mistrust between its black residents and neighboring Tulsa's white population, narrates events leading up to and including Greenwood's annihilation, and documents the subsequent silence that surrounded this great tragedy.