Author Archives: arobertallen

The Little Boy and the Fat Man

On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, an American B29, dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed, Little Boy, on the city of Hiroshima.  Three days later, another bomb, Fat Boy, devastated Nagasaki.  A combined total of 120,000 people were immediately killed in these attacks.  Tens of thousands more died later of their injuries.  After the second… Continue Reading

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is the day in 1865 (June 19) when news of emancipation reached the enslaved population in Texas.  Many people are either hearing about it now for the first time or expressing an interest in learning more about it because of our current demands for racial justice and change.  Some are surprised when they hear… Continue Reading

The Spanish Flu of 1918

Many of us have become glued to the news about the coronavirus crisis.  We read about it online, listen to reports on the radio, and watch the news coverage on television.  In New York, we tune into Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily lunchtime briefings as well as the federal press conferences, which feature the President, Vice… Continue Reading

Bumpy Johnson, Aunt Rita, and Mom

Each of my novels marches forward in time extending the theme of either the direct or after-effects of slavery. I began with Failed Moments, a fictional account of my ancestors, which took place in the 1790s and mid 1800s. My second novel, A Wave From Mama, was set in Brooklyn in the 1880s and the… Continue Reading

Thoughts on Reparations

The long-standing issue of reparations for slavery was the focus of a congressional hearing a few weeks ago. My last book, Living in the Middle, also touches on this topic—it includes a section that describes a commission established in Oklahoma in 1996, seventy-five years after the Tulsa Race Riots. This commission was given the charge… Continue Reading

Something to Remember

Earlier this year, I published a blog entitled, Black Wall Street, which introduced the story of the Tulsa Race Riots — a sad day in 1921 when the prosperous Black neighborhood of Greenwood was invaded by White mobs from across the railroad tracks. In April, I published my book, Living in the Middle, which told… Continue Reading

Black Wall Street

About thirty years after the end of the Civil War, a group fleeing a hostile south settled an all-Black town in the territory of Oklahoma, about 80 miles west of Tulsa.  The founder of the town, Edwin McCabe, had a vision of Oklahoma as the Black Promised Land and sent recruiters into the Deep South… Continue Reading

Pearls from the Past

I lost my chance with my dad—there are so many little things I wished I asked him before he passed away, so I was determined not to make the same mistake with my mother. She is 94-years-old and I visit her every Sunday. We sit and talk as I help her with her bills. Mom… Continue Reading