Opal’s Greenwood Oasis–Paperback



By Najah-Amatullah Hylton and Qurayash Ali Lansana

Illustrated by Skip Hill

Also available in Hardcover



“A beautiful and poignant reminder of the industry, joy and resilience of Black people in America.”–Trey Ellis, Peabody and Emmy winning producer of King in the Wilderness and True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality


“Ah, sweet Opal Brown, standing here on the cusp of history.”–Marilyn Nelson, author of the Printz and Coretta Scott King Honor Book, A Wreath for Emmett Till

The year is 1921, and Opal Brown would like to show you around her beautiful neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Filled with busy stores and happy families, Opal also wants you to know that “everyone looks like me.”

In both words and illustrations, this carefully researched and historically accurate book allows children to experience the joys and success of Greenwood, one of the most prosperous Black communities of the early 20th Century, an area Booker T. Washington dubbed America’s Black Wall Street.

Soon after the day narrated by Opal, Greenwood would be lost in the Tulsa Race Massacre, the worst act of racial violence in American history. As we approach the centennial of that tragic event, children have the opportunity through this book to learn and celebrate all that was built in Greenwood.

Resources about Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre here.

Praise and More for Opal’s Greenwood Oasis:

“In this important picture book for historical fiction collections . . . mixed media illustrations with bright pops of color help to showcase the rich activities of Opal’s bustling world.”–Foreword Reviews

“Readers will be able to experience Opal’s world like she is a friend”–Youth Services Book Review

“The care and attention put into this book really highlight the love that everyone involved . . . has for the city of Tulsa, and for the Greenwood District . . . It was an honor to see Greenwood for the first time through Opal’s eyes.”–Mutually Inclusive

An interview with the creators at The Brown Bookshelf.

Through her eyes, we experience the richness and Black joy that existed throughout Greenwood . . . Opal’s Greenwood Oasis, though a children’s book, is a special text for all ages.”–The Black Wall Street Times

Quraysh Ali Lansana writes about using books like Opal to create empathy in children.