The cover of Dreamland Burning is pretty amazing (thank you, design team at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers!), and I’m so excited about being able to reveal it Wednesday. In the meanwhile, here are a few pictures from Greenwood, which, at the time of the riot in 1921, was known as “Black Wall Street. Even though 35 square blocks of black-owned businesses, homes, and churches were destroyed by white rioters, the amazing people of Greenwood eventually rebuilt.
Today’s pictures show Williams Dreamland Theatre before and after it burned. The distinguished-looking couple in the car were John and Loula Williams—successful Greenwood entrepreneurs. John was an ace car mechanic, and the pair used profits from his shop to build a three-story building that was home to apartments, office space, and a confectionery/soda fountain. The confectionery was Loula’s baby. She turned it into a hugely popular (and profitable) social hub for all of Greenwood. Their Dreamland Theatre went up next to that. During the riot, every one of their businesses was destroyed.