Opal’s Greenwood Oasis, being released on February 2, tells the story of Greenwood and Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma through the eyes of Opal Brown and her family. Both the story and illustrations are historically accurate, shining a light on one of the most prosperous Black communities of the early 20th Century.
If people know the story of Greenwood and Black Wall Street at all, it is probably because of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. One of the worst acts of racial violence in American history, the entire Greenwood District, filled with thirty-six blocks of homes and businesses, was destroyed.
Recent depictions of Greenwood in the popular television shows Watchmen and Lovecraft Country, have brought the Tulsa Race Massacre back into the conversation about race and social justice in our culture.
But the people of Greenwood and Black Wall Street have so much more to offer than a tragic story. Black joy, economic success, powerful community. and vibrant culture could all be found in this amazing neighborhood.
We have gathered some resources to help you learn more about Opal’s world. They can shed light on history you may not know, spark conversations in your family, and offer new ways to think about how we strive to become a more diverse and just culture.
Opal author Quraysh Ali Lansana offers a place to begin your journey in Oklahoma Today.