for Black Wall Street 1


Sit down and count your fires
What have you said?
They want him dead
Sit down
Count your many fires
You quarrelsome little girl red

Sit down and count the buildings
Burning for you
It’s time for bloodshed
‘Cause you failed to deny
The accusations
And so the honest man fled

Won’t you just sit down
Count the many buildings
Burning for you
Now it’s time for bloodshed
‘Cause you failed to deny
The accusations
And so the honest man fled

Quarrelsome young girl
You really should’ve halted
‘Cause you never were assaulted
You faulted
Why won’t somebody save
Our beloved Greenwood
From burning for little girl red?


* The author of this poem intended for it to be sung to the tune of Nina Simone’s cover of “Little Girl Blue,” released in 1958 on her debut album Little Girl Blue on Bethlehem Records *


  1. “Early in the twentieth century, the black community in Tulsa ― the ‘Greenwood District’ ― became a nationally renowned entrepreneurial center. Frequently referred to as “The Black Wall Street of America,” the Greenwood District attracted pioneers from all over America who sought new opportunities and fresh challenges. Legal segregation forced blacks to do business among themselves. The Greenwood District prospered as dollars circulated within the black community. But fear and jealousy swelled in the greater Tulsa community. The alleged assault of a white woman [the very subject of “Little Girl Red”] by a black man triggered unprecedented civil unrest. The worst riot in American history, the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 [now frequently referred to as “the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921″] destroyed people, property, hopes, and dreams. Hundreds of people died or were injured. Property damage ran into the millions. The Greenwood District burned to the ground. Ever courageous, the Greenwood District pioneers rebuilt and better than ever. By 1942, some 242 businesses called the Greenwood District home. Having experienced decline in the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s, the area is now poised for yet another renaissance. Black Wall Street speaks to the triumph of the human spirit.” – Source: Black Wall Street by Hannibal B. Johnson

17 Responses to “Little Girl Red”

  1. Metria Smith

    There are so many people that haven’t been educated about the Greenwood massacre. I read about it as a child in a magazine of some sort. I hope that part of the Tulsa community can be revitalized. So that our children can see successful people of color in their own community.

  2. Phetote Mshairi

    Where would Black Tulsans be, if she had told the truth sooner?

  3. Andrea Megehee


  4. Courtney Kessler

    I learned about the Tulsa Race Massacre at a very young age. We all lived in “north” Tulsa until the mid 90’s. My Dad & his siblings grew up in the North Gate neighborhood, with his two older sisters graduating from McLain High School. We came here from South Carolina (in the late 80’s when my Dad decided his full time military career was done), where racism is celebrated. My family (maternal & paternal) leans heavily on our Native American background. When I asked “what happened to our side of town?”, I was given this exact story, from any family member I asked. My parents taught us racism is not tolerated anywhere we live, & to embrace every tragic headline about the African American population in our town, because this is OUR town, & knowledge of the truth is how we help our friends heal. “Red, yellow, black, & white, we are precious in His sight.” Sorry for the novella. Excellent piece, as always. I dig the song incorporation. Well done.

  5. Ivory Davis

    Absolutely love ❤️ I still struggle with the level of hatred required to carry out such egregious acts. It’s time to reclaim.

  6. B. Sherrance Russell, Ph.D.

    Prophetic Doc. Thanks for educating us!

  7. Angie

    Wow this is amazing!!

  8. Jaybe Holiday

    I wonder, are there any statements made by her afterwards on record and what those statements were. Did she possess the level of humanity that shows remorse or was she just unable to be truly human. This accusation was the scapegoat for the Beast that still throws its shadow over TheBrady Name. Tulsa hates Black People to this day. Sure, 2021 is coming and there’s a plan to do something that stamps the 100 yr mark. Will it be a parade of White Women in Red waving hands dripping with the blood of our Ancestors and will they be called the Brady Bunch Bitches? Will there be Black Walls Lining the Street with their handprints on them. In an age where Kim West is Blacker than Kanye, and White Girls in Philly defend Que Dawgs in Starbucks is it time to give the “White Bitch” Stereotype a rest in the wake of them using their priviledge to give Black People Power. Will we now accept those that identify culturally as black as our own to infiltrate the system? Or, will we smack them in the face as soon as we see them, as Minister Farrakhan did upon meeting Zenobia, the First White Black Panther Woman, who raised hell against racism until her dying days.

  9. written quincey

    mmm hmm!!!!!!!!

  10. Jerica


  11. Mo Touray

    Thanks for the history lesson
    I think they should just “sit down and count the many burning building for them”

  12. Marc Flemon

    Peace God. My favorite of the collection. I dig your yearning space, and I see you.

  13. Jordan Alexander

    We need answers and deserve so much more.

  14. Sleep

    Makes you wonder if this massacre was planned. The totality of it all because a lie made from a white woman? Or they just used her as a scapegoat. Thanks for the thought-provoking piece.

  15. Mike A

    This stirs up truths that have escaped the eye of justice for centuries. Loved calling her little girl red.

  16. Abril M.

    Very moving poem. It’s sad that this is so often the story. If you look at the lynching memorial, they have included the reasons why innocent people were murdered. A lot of them are “scared a white girl,” “talked to a white girl,” “looked at a white girl,” etc.

  17. Terry James

    Amazing touch of heart, hurt, and no “halt”. Long live the unlivable. Thank you Brother for the Best of expressions! #Salute


Leave a Reply