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Black Wall Street

‘Burn Black Wall Street Burn’: A Book Talk with Dennis Maley at Fogartyville in Sarasota

| Arlene Sweeting |

A century ago this week, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the wealthiest Black community in the US was burned to the ground.  The prosperous town, founded by many descendants of slaves, earned a reputation as the Black Wall Street of America and became a harbor for African Americans in a highly segregated city under Jim Crow laws.  On May 31, 1921, a white mob turned Greenwood upside down in one of the worst racial massacres in U.S. history. In the matter of hours, 35 square blocks of the vibrant Black community were turned into smoldering ashes. Countless Black people were killed — estimates ranged from 55 to more than 300 — and 1,000 homes and businesses were looted and set on fire.

Burn Black Wall Street Burn – Historical Fiction

In his recently released book of historical fiction “Burn Black Wall Street Burn’, longtime political journalist Dennis “Mitch” Maley keeps the emphasis on “historical” in dramatizing this historically accurate and meticulously researched depiction of the horrific events that led to one of our nation’s ugliest moments.  Maley strives to reach a broader audience by fictionalizing this historical event, and closely adheres to the known history of Black Wall Street. Maley will discuss the book on Tuesday, June 15 at 7pm at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court.   The event is free and open to the public.  Books will be available for purchase at the event.  

Dennis “Mitch” Maley is a featured columnist and senior editor for The Bradenton Times. He joined TBT in 2010 after a successful career as a freelance journalist, writing mostly for alt-weekly publications, including Creative Loafing.   Maley is a graduate of Shippensburg University, where he earned a degree in Government while minoring in Economics. While at Shippensburg, Maley was the captain of the school’s boxing team. Competing as a heavyweight, he won two national silver medals and one bronze, while being named to the All-American team three times.  After college, Maley was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army, eventually earning the rank of Captain. His field was Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons, and he is a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne School. 

Maley’s first novel, A Long Road Home, was released in July of 2015 by DoubleBridge Books. He has since followed up with a short-story collection entitled Casting Shadows, and the short novel Sacred Hearts

Photo from Fogartyville

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