Writing About Greenwood

This workshop will be held remotely on 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, and 5/25 from 7:00 - 9 :00 p.m.

This course examines the history of Tulsa’s Greenwood District from it’s pre-statehood beginnings to its many renaissances, including the present day. Coined “Black Wall Street” by educator and historian Booker T. Washington, Greenwood was the most economically vibrant Black community in the United States for years, in spite of Oklahoma’s brutal segregation laws. Though that entrenched racial divide continues to exist, Black Wall Street is thriving once again. Guest lecturers from Black community leaders and field trips to significant landmarks will reinforce classroom learning. The course will culminate with community based projects that explore Greenwood then and now. There were many significant factors that contributed to both its rise and destruction.

Instructor: Quraysh Ali Lansana

Instructor Bio: Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of twenty books in poetry, nonfiction and children’s literature. Lansana is a Tulsa Artist Fellow, Writer in Residence and Adjunct Professor at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, and a consultant with Tulsa Public Schools. and a former faculty member of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The Juilliard School. Lansana is co-executive producer of Public Radio Tulsa’s Focus: Black Oklahoma. A former faculty member of both the Writing Program of the School of
the Art Institute of Chicago
and the Drama Division of
The Juilliard School, Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center
for Black Literature and
Creative Writing at Chicago State University and was an Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing from 2002-2014. His work Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community was published in March 2011 by the Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include the skin of dreams: new and collected poems, 1995-2018, The Whiskey of Our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience & Change Agent (Haymarket Books, 2017) and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop (Haymarket Books, 2015). Lansana’s work appears in Best American Poetry 2019, and and his forthcoming titles include Those Who Stayed: Life in 1921 Tulsa After the Massacre and Opal’s Greenwood Oasis. He is a founding member of Tri-City Collective.

Registration closes at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 23, 2021.