TALK OF GREENWOOD
Dr. Jerry Goodwin, The Oklahoma Eagle
Luckerson and his book, “Built from the Fire: The Epic Story of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, America’s Black Wall Street,” have been on a national tour. During a recent stop back in Tulsa, the author sat down with noted local musician Washington Rucker. Rucker, a native of Greenwood, performed in the famed Big 10 Ballroom as a teenager in the 1950s, and is featured in the book. As an Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame inductee, Rucker is an incredible storyteller about the heyday of a gone-by period in local and national history. He has worked with esteemed artists in the lexicon of American gospel, jazz, pop, and R&B, such as Ray Charles, Rev. James Cleveland, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, and Stevie Wonder among others.
Luckerson, recently receiving recognition as the Best in Business Book Award from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, relived a time in the city’s history when Ray Charles, Etta James, and B. B. King among other recognized artists entertained hundreds of people at the Big 10 Ballroom.
The Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing is a national organization for business journalists. The comments on the book from the organization said, “Built from the Fire, the tale of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, is a well-researched gem…In Luckerson’s capable hands, the book becomes a family saga as well as a business lesson in vision and fortitude.” Luckerson began his professional career as a business reporter at TIME magazine.
MaKayla Glenn, multimedia journalist and reporter with KOTV Channel 6, served as the program moderator. The program opened with a history of the Big 10 Ballroom by Dr. Lester Shaw, owner of the historic site, and poetry by Phetote Mshairi; and the program closed with music performed by the Moffett Music band.
Sponsors for the evening were Oklahoma State University-Tulsa Library, Tulsa City- County Library, University of Tulsa, and the Big 10 Ballroom.