Today marks the dubious anniversary of the race riot and aerial attack by thugs, KKK and various hatemongers that destroyed the Black Wall Street of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Never heard about the Greenwood Street district of Tulsa - well you are not alone because it has been all but erased from American history...
Greenwood was a district in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As one of the most successful and wealthiest African American communities in the United States during the early 20th Century, it was popularly known as America's "Black Wall Street" until the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The riot was one of the most devastating race riots in history and it destroyed the once thriving Greenwood community.
The business district, beginning at the intersection of Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street, became so successful and vibrant that Booker T. Washington during his visit bestowed the moniker: "Negro Wall Street." By 1921, Tulsa’s African-American population of 11,000 had its own bus line, two high schools, one hospital, two newspapers, two theaters, three drug stores, four hotels, a public library, and thirteen churches.
In addition, there were over 150 two and three story brick commercial buildings that housed clothing and grocery stores, cafes, rooming houses, nightclubs, and a large number of professional offices including doctors, lawyers, and dentists.
While this day marks a tragic chapter in American history, it also should serve as a template on how much can be accomplished by Economic Community Building.
If with meager resources and in an overtly dangerous environment they can create a Black Wall Street, what can we build in our community today?