Metropolitan College of New York and GodLee Entertainment, Inc.
present in honor of Black History Month
“Greenwood: American Dream Destroyed”
February 4, 5 & 6, 2020
Please RSVP using the appropriate link below:
General Admission RSVP – $10 suggested donation at the door
MCNY Students & Staff ONLY – Free with RSVP and MCNY ID
This Actors Equity staged-reading of Greenwood: American Dream Destroyed by playwright Celeste Bedford Walker, tells the powerful story of the tragedy that took place on May 31, 1921, in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma 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 tumultuous time.
In highly segregated Tulsa, an African-American community known as the “Negro (Black) Wall Street” grew and thrived. The Greenwood District boasted one of the most affluent African-American communities in the country. African-American citizens created entrepreneurial opportunities for themselves with a vibrant business district including banks, hotels, cafes, movie theaters, modern homes, mansions, and an excellent education system. Then disaster and devastation struck.
Tulsa police arrested a young African-American man on an unsubstantiated (and later dismissed) charge. An inflammatory report in the Tulsa Tribune the next day spurred a racial confrontation. 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 African-American residents were killed, 600 African-American businesses and 1200 homes burned to the ground, leaving thousands homeless and the economy in shambles. Tulsa city government soon after passed a law prohibiting the building of any structure on burned ground, essentially prohibiting the rebuilding of Greenwood.