Personal Narrative: A Story Called America's Black Wall Street

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Andy was one of the few Black students attending my elementary school and I was drawn to him because of his incredible storytelling ability. I love to hear stories and he loved to tell them in an animated manner with all the appropriate expressions, changing his voice with each character and flailing his arms to show action. His gift for storytelling began to draw the attention of other classmates who were riveted to his every word. Hunched over and crowded around Andy at recess, all our eyes watched his every movement. His wrinkled, baggy khaki pants looked out of place with his carefully ironed shirt. As the story unfolded, each student scanned his animated face, eyes bulging beneath short, stiff eyelashes. He looked at each student to gage their reactions to his narrative. To increase the suspense, Andy…show more content…
Although the schools his grandparents attended were not being integrated they felt the backlash of anger from white racists when they came into town and heard stories about the Black owned houses and businesses being burned in the darkness of night. When the entire city of Greenwood was burned to the ground, leaving nothing but ashes, most of its inhabitants left. Andy’s grandparents chose to stay to help rebuild the city. Called America’s “Black Wall Street,” this wealthy Black city never returned to its glory days, causing most of the young people, including Andy’s parents to leave for California, where they hoped life would be more peaceful. To some extent it was. Andy’s father, Elroy, had a more difficult time believing racism would not be as strong in this small California city as it had been in the South. The first home they rented was closer to town. They had to walk to the nearby grocery store because they had yet to save enough money to buy a

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