Black Wall Street NEIGHBOURHOOD, TULSA, OKLAHOMA ~ Black History


Greenwood, Tulsa: Black Wall Street before the Tulsa Race Massacre

Black Wall Street, former byname of the Greenwood neighbourhood in TulsaOklahoma, where in the early 20th century African Americans had created a self-sufficient prosperous business district. The term Black Wall Street was used until the Tulsa race riot of 1921. The name has also been applied more generally to districts of African American high economic activity.

Historically, African Americans worked mainly as servants in Tulsa, where they developed their own insular society with its own economy. Black businesses clustered on the strip of land that would become Greenwood in 1905, when African Americans acquired the land. Businesses included a grocery store and a barbershop. Doctors and real estate agents opened their own businesses. The neighbourhood also had its own newspaper and schools.

Black Wall Street was thriving at the time of the Tulsa race riot of 1921. The riot, however, took a heavy financial toll on African Americans. Many homes and businesses were destroyed. Moreover, following the riot, residents of Greenwood met resistance to rebuild. Nonetheless, African American professionals and entrepreneurs slowly began to rebuild. Lawyers offered legal assistance to African Americans jailed in the riots and helped them sue the city for compensation. A massive reconstruction of the district was completed in 1922, only one year after the riot and without the help of the greater Tulsa community. Eighty businesses were opened by the end of 1922.

The community thrived throughout the first half of the century, even during the Great Depression. In addition to the usual businesses, the area formerly known as Black Wall Street contained a business college and the reopened offices of the African American newspaper. Many middle- and upper-class African Americans lived there. In addition, it provided the backbone for greater civic and political participation by Tulsa’s African American residents.

Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription

By the end of the 1950s, however, more than half of the businesses had closed. Desegregation allowed the entry of businesses owned by whites, while increasing numbers of African Americans in the community invested in entities outside Greenwood.

By 1961, 90 percent of African American income in Tulsa was spent outside of the Greenwood district.

The creation of the Greenwood Cultural Center, formed in the late 1970s, attracted tourism to the area. In addition to addressing African American culture and working on creating more harmonious race relations in the city, the cultural centre was charged with preserving Black Wall Street. It was also responsible for building the 1921 Black Wall Street Memorial in the name of the people who had died in the riot.

This article was most recently revised and updated by André Munro, Assistant Editor.

LEARN MORE in these related Britannica articles:

  • Tulsa
    Tulsa
    Tulsa, city, Osage and Tulsa counties, seat (1907) of Tulsa county, northeastern Oklahoma, U.S., situated on the Arkansas River. It originated in 1836 as a settlement of Creek Indians who named it for their former town in Alabama. White settlement began after the arrival in 1882 of the St. Louis-San…
  • Tulsa race riot of 1921
    Tulsa race riot of 1921, race riot that began on May 31, 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was one of the most severe incidents of racial violence in U.S. history. Lasting for two days, the riot left somewhere between 30 and 300 people…

A look at Black WallStreet… Destroyed -may 31 – june 1st


And…

Tulsa Race Massacre, 100 years later: Why it happened and why it’s still relevant today

The city’s “Black Wall Street” was among the most prosperous neighborhoods in America, and a Black utopia — and then it was burned to the ground.

May 28, 2021,

3:00 AM PDT

By Randi Richardson

Just decades after slavery in the United States left Black Americans in an economic and societal deficit, one bright spot stood out in Tulsa, Oklahoma — its Greenwood District, known as the “Black Wall Street,” where Black business leaders, homeowners, and civic leaders thrived.

But 100 years ago, on May 31, 1921, and into the next day, a white mob destroyed that district, in what experts call the single-most horrific incident of racial terrorism since slavery.

An estimated 300 people were killed within the district’s 35 square blocks, burning to the ground more than 1,200 homes, at least 60 businesses, dozens of churches, a school, a hospital and a public library, according to a report issued by Human Rights Watch.

Source: nbcnews.com for Randi’s complete article

Asian-Pacific American ~~ HERITAGE MONTH …


May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

The month-long observance was officially designated in 1992 and the month of May was chosen to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. on May 7, 1843 and to recognize the Chinese immigrants who helped lay tracks for the transcontinental railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869.

Visit asianpacificheritage.gov to learn more about the contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

a repost

May Awareness


Mayflowers
  • National Astronaut Day
  • Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month (National) Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) 800.727.8462
  • According to the American Counseling Association (ACA), May is the month that we are made aware of Mental Health illnesses.
  • National Cartoonists Day
  • American Stroke Awareness Month
  • Arthritis Awareness Month
  • Better Hearing and Speech Month
  • Clean Air Month
  • Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month
  • Food Allergy Action Month
  • Global Employee Health and Fitness Month
  • Healthy Vision Month
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • International Mediterranean Diet Month
  • Lupus Awareness Month
  • Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month
  • National Silence the Shame Day
  • National Totally Chipotle Day
  • National Hoagie Day
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • National Bike To School Day
  • National Skilled Trades Day
  • National Interpreter Appreciation Day

more days coming