Liberty Adams, born in slavery, lived a life of factual brutality and yet astonishing resourcefulness: from work as a stable hand on the plantation, to a soldier’s life in the army training men to read and write, to the last battle of the Civil War, the cattle drives of Texas, and finally, to a prosperous but perilous existence in the anticipated all-black state of Oklahoma.
In 1921, at the age of seventy-three, Liberty attempts to retire from editorial life amid one of the nation’s most vibrant black communities, the Greenwood district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, dubbed ‘Black Wall Street’. On the cusp of one of the most tragic race riots in American history, this hostile city is radically divided and boiling to a perilous tipping point. Liberty, in an attempt to guide his community, decides against his better judgment to write his recollections, plumbing the depths of a diverse and rich personal history.
In the years following the Civil War ignorance meets aspiration time and time again in a large, adventurous life propelled by a love for words and the freedom they bring. Liberty Adams cultivates the life of the mind, the soil of his soul, and the peace of his community.