Nationwide(BlackNews.com) – The authors of a historically accurate powerful new play depicting the horrors of the Tulsa Riot of 1921 are seeking interested parties (producers, college drama departments, acting companies, and community theaters) for new productions with the aim of bringing the world’s attention to this long-forgotten horrific act that’s still a “stain on America’s soul.”
Dreamland Burning is a stunning new theatre piece that was recently produced at Purdue University Calumet. Praised by faculty and students alike as a “significant new piece of American drama,” the play chronicles the destruction of a Renaissance Black enclave in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Greenwood, as it was called, was the home of the first Black Wall Street. Greenwood was the most socially and economically evolved Black community in American history. Hailed as the “Black Jerusalem,” Greenwood was filled with fine homes, first rate schools, thriving banks and boasted doctors, lawyers, businessmen, tradesmen and artisans. The residents had peacefully co-existed with the whites of Tulsa for years. However, a trivial incident between a white teenage girl and young black boy from Greenwood led to an armed confrontation between the two races after it was rumored the boy was to be lynched. The animosity between the races was stoked by a rabid racist newspaperman named Richard Lloyd Jones who claimed the blacks of Tulsa “were a vile lot of savages who were planning to attack the city and turn Oklahoma into an all-black state.” On the night before the riot began, Jones printed a column titled: To Lynch Negro Tonight.
The blacks of Greenwood had sworn they would fight to the death to stop the lynching and when a marauding white mob attacked Greenwood on the morning of May 31st and began killing innocent men, women and children in the streets, the rioters were met with an heroic and inspired stand by blacks. The battle lasted for two days and eventually the National Guard had to be called in to rake Greenwood with machine gun fire. Finally, in one of the most controversial acts in American history, the Air Force attacked with fire bombs. Most of Greenwood was reduced to smoldering ashes. The death count will never be really known as the dead were hauled off in carts and buried in mass graves. Thousand more blacks were rounded up and put in cattle pens where some, still wounded and dying, were kept prisoner while others faced starvation and disease.
Dreamland Burningwas written by award-winning playwright John Lisbon Wood based on an idea from Academy Award nominated songwriter Tevin Thomas.
Mr. Thomas has composed original music for the show. Script and music available by contacting:
John Wood: firstname.lastname@example.org or (917-822-8642) (Chicago)
Tevin Thomas: email@example.com or (917-335-5076) (NYC)