Written by Celeste Bedford Walker
Presented by Lynnie Godfrey and GodLee Entertainment, Inc.
This staged reading of Greenwood: American Dream Destroyed examines the tragedy that took place on May 31, 1921 in the Greenwood District of Tulsa Oklahoma.
In highly segregated Tulsa, Oklahoma, an African American community known as the “Negro Wall Street” grew and thrived. The Greenwood District boasted one of the most affluent African American communities in the country. Black citizens created entrepreneurial opportunities for themselves with a vibrant business district including banks, hotels, cafes, movie theaters, modern homes, and an excellent education system. Then disaster and devastation struck.
Tulsa police arrested a young black man on an unsubstantiated charge. An inflammatory report int eh Tulsa Tribune the next day spurred a racial confrontation and the Greenwood District found itself looted and burned for over 24 hours by white mobs. Thirty-five city blocks lay in charred ruins, over 300 black residents were killed, 600 African American businesses burned to the ground, and thousands were left homeless.
Greenwood: American Dream Destroyed tells this powerful story from the perspective of three generations of the Boley family, a representative composite of an African American family that may have lived during that tragic and tumultuate time.
The staged reading of Greenwood: American Dream Destroyed runs approximately two hours and has one intermission.
Readings of Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed are sponsored by the University of Delaware’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Paul R. Jones Initiative, Art Bridging Cultures, the Community Engagement Initiative, UD’s Department of Theatre with support from UD’s Dance Minor, and the Delaware Contemporary.