Greenwood Avenue: A Virtual Reality Experience is a historical fiction five-part series with five-minute episodes, created by Ayana Baraka. The first kiss is usually something that is remembered. This is the moment, our main character, 14-year-old, Agnes relishes—momentarily. Like most teenage girls, all she wants to do is spend time with the boy she likes, her first love Ernie. And it is through her love story that the audience gets to experience Greenwood Avenue, the main artery of Black Wall Street, in all of its glory. On this spring day in 1921, Agnes has her first kiss. However, something else happens on this day that makes her grow up quick. It exposes her to realities she’d been shielded from. 10-thousand deputized white supremacists kill 300 Blacks. For 2 Days—Black homes and Black businesses are looted, machine gunned, fire bombed from the sky and left to burn in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a.k.a. Black Wall Street, the most affluent Black neighborhood in America. Unfortunately, Agnes’ world is flipped up-side-down when the events of the Race Massacre begin to unfold. Her home is looted. Her father is taken. And she doesn’t know if she’ll see her beloved Ernie ever again.
Conversations Baraka had with the late Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, one of the last known survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, informed the script.
Greenwood Avenue is not your typical thrill-based virtual reality experience. It is a story that transports you back in time to a place that no longer exists. It introduces you to a community and the great American entrepreneurs of our past. History organically unfolds because love is at the heart of this story. Love is something everyone can latch onto.
Greenwood Avenue is grounded authentically in the Greenwood District. Filmed in Tulsa, Oklahoma-on the last remaining block of Black Wall Street—Greenwood Avenue. With support from the community and local organizations like the Greenwood Cultural Center, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, and the John Hope Center for Reconciliation. Greenwood Avenue hired a cast and crew of native Tulsans, many of which had ancestors that either survived through or perished during the massacre.