Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker

Read by Prentice Onayemi, with the recording produced by Blackstone Audio.

Reviewed by Ryan Paul Winn

In Smoketown, Whitaker explains a city whose twentieth-century African American influence is difficult to exaggerate. Smoketown highlights milestones in black history and athletes and musicians who help the United State of America begin to integrate. Balancing struggles and successes, Smoketown celebrates a multifaceted metropolis. Prentice Onayemi’s smooth voice complements the narrative; his gift for distinguishing among characters is enchanting. Harlem had its Renaissance. Pittsburgh had The Hill.”

Ryan Paul Winn is a columnist and media critic who’s rarely without an audiobook or his earbuds. When not writing or teaching in the Liberal Studies department at College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, he can be found researching overlooked history in local and national archives.