They came here to find a place to call home. That’s all they wanted. They were comfortable, they found what they needed, and they thrived. They had a library, a post office, and their own little Black Wall Street. A one-mile stretch on Greenwood Avenue hosted so many black businesses that a business leader Booker T. Washington called it “Negro Wall Street of America” and that name stuck. They had lawyers, schools, doctors, heck they had it all! Hotels, movie theatres and even their own airplanes. They were comfortable and enjoying their wealth.
Not everyone was pleased with how well the African Americans were doing in Tulsa. This was 1921 afterall and some of them were making more money than the white population. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
When a 19-year-old shoeshine man enters an elevator, times were about to change. The 17-year-old elevator operator charges the shoeshine man with assault and causes chaos in the city. The shoeshine man is an African American and the elevator operator, a white female. Town people fearing for the safety of the shoeshine man rush to the jail to save him but are met by thousands of armed white individuals. This will not be the last day these two groups are left with dead supporters. It was heart-breaking reading what was once a peaceful, thriving community being torn apart by hatred.
With fantastic illustrations, this nonfiction book brings to life this terrible event that occurred in history. The author includes in the last few pages of the book some author’s notes about the event and the illustrator has written some notes also. I enjoyed reading these also. What a great book. Thanks to the author and illustrator for sharing this event to our young readers.
I choose a Wonderbook for this book. This was my first Wonderbook and it fantastic! These types of books are new to our library so I wanted to check them out. Basically, what it does is read the book to you while you follow along with the printed text. You don’t need to supply anything – no batteries, no plug-in, nothing. The directions are inside the cover of the book. I pushed the button to start the book, it chimed to tell me to turn the page, and I could follow along reading the text or in-the-case with this picture book, I could just follow along with the illustrations. I could stop the book whenever I wanted also. I see that there are other children’s books including chapter books for these Wonderbook titles and I’m going to look into these for further reads. What another wonderful way to read books. 5 stars