THE AMERICAN DREAM

Published December 1, 2019 by rochellewisoff

The Greenwood district was a thriving African-American community with luxury shops, restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, jewelry and clothing stores, movie theaters, barbershops and salons, a library, pool halls, nightclubs and offices for doctors, lawyers and dentists. It had its own school system, post office, a savings and loan bank, hospital, and bus and taxi service

This is an unusual prompt today because it’s focused on a specific time and place, and as such is sort of an experiment. We at Pegman encourage you to look into this mostly-forgotten tragedy and write something about it, but as always you can write anything about Tulsa that strikes your fancy.”

CLICK THE FROG TO READ AND COMMENT ON THE STORIES OF OTHERS (AND TO ADD YOUR LINK 😉 )

Thanks to Josh and Karen for hosting the Pegman Challenge. I couldn’t very well resist a challenge that includes history. My heart goes out to the people of Greenwood. I dream of a day we can appreciate each other’s differences instead of trying to snuff them out. 

The aftermath. 35 city blocks were razed to the ground.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

THE AMERICAN DREAM

I knew nothing of the so-called race riot that took over 300 lives in our district of Greenwood until 1996 when the Today Show ran a story. After seeing it on television, my 80-year-old grandfather agreed to let me interview him for a school report.

            “You must understand,” he squeezed my hand, “my memories are those of a five-year-old.”

            I poised my pen over my notepad. “Go on, Poppy.”

            His faded gaze looked past me. “Four men ran toward the house with guns and lighted torches. Bam! My daddy fell.” A tear streamed down a crevice of Poppy’s leathered cheek.

            “Mama yelled to us kids, ‘get up under the bed.’ Which we did. My sister clapped her hand over my mouth when one of the men tromped on my finger. I can still feel it. They set fire to the curtains. Life as we knew it went up in smoke.”

16 comments on “THE AMERICAN DREAM

  • Excellent take on the prompt, Rochelle. I knew nothing about this until I saw a depiction on HBO’s Watchmen a few weeks ago. In researching it since, I’ve read and listened to several wrenching accounts. That this horror has been forgotten is as big a stain as the massacre itself. No wonder history keeps repeating in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh,

      I knew nothing of it either. Your challenge sent me to You Tube where there are a multitude of videoed interviews with survivors and a few documentaries. You’ll get no argument from me. Definitely a blot on American history. Thank you re my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Jan,

      Detroit’s no surprise. Of course I knew about that. The massacre in Tulsa has been kept as something of a secret, even by the victims themselves. Apparently the documentaries have been floating around for some time. You Tube is a great source. Thank you for your affirming comments, m’luv.

      Like

    • Dear Lynn,

      It was a horrible event that I didn’t know of until Josh posted the challenge. It’s unimaginable that such a travesty could be so well buried. It makes me wonder… At any rate, you leave the loveliest compliments in your comments. Thank you so much.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • My pleasure, Rochelle. No, I hadn’t heard of it either. It seems the town and the country – black and white – would rather it was forgotten. At the time, at least. You treat all of your subjects with such empathy, I love to read your work

        Like

  • You are so right when you have Poppy weeping at the memory. I have seen exactly that with a man who lost his parents in the German occupation of the Channel Islands in WW2. Time may dull the grief, but it never goes completely.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I was going to participate this week but could not bring myself to. There are so many hate-filled incidents like this. Besides, I knew you would do it way more justice than I ever could. And I couldn’t see myself trying to find a positive spin on the area.

    Shalom and lotsa heartfelt love,

    Dale

    Liked by 2 people

  • Where do you think you're going without leaving a comment?

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Kelvin M. Knight

    FLASHES of inspiration. SHORT deliberations. STORIES for all.

    Na'ama Yehuda

    Speech Language Pathologist, Writer, Blogger -- musings, anecdotes, stories, quotes, life lessons and growth

    Diane's Ponderings

    Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

    Jellico's Writing Nook

    A cup of coffee and a quiet morning respite to write

    The Ministry of Shrawley Walks

    4 Folk, Walking the Dogs

    Penz-o-Paula

    Paula Shablo

    Lost Imperfect Found

    Self-discovery through self-reflection.

    Sarah Potter Writes

    Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

    Sammi Cox

    Author Aspiring

    Neil MacDonald Author

    A writer's journey

    Autumn Leaves

    For those who enjoy fiction

    Native Heritage Project

    Documenting the Ancestors

    Living In Eternity

    If Eternity Is Forever, Am I There Now?

    Rereading Jane Eyre

    Author Luccia Gray

    zicharonot

    Catskills Memories, Genealogy, travel and commentary

    e.l. dalke: survivor

    a journey of fractures, in my own words

    Creativity for You

    Posts about creativity from Thomas Ward, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Alabama.

    WHAT PEGMAN SAW

    a weekly flash fiction prompt inspired by google maps

    Lori Ericson, Author

    An author's perspective of mystery and more.

    Alyssa Davies

    You Can Never Be Overdressed or Overeducated

    Write already!

    Write, write, write...

    The Off Key Of Life

    Or….Identifying The Harmless Unhinged Among Us.

    What's So Funny?

    Russell Gayer, author speaker

    %d bloggers like this: