Tulsa Oklahoma’s Greenwood District (Black Wall Street)
Boluwaji Ogunyemi talks Black Wallstreet, a symbol of African-American potential and site of the worst race riot of its time
Less than a century ago, a positive community of African-Americans served as a shining example of the potential of those of African descent — Black Wallstreet.
Following the Civil War, many African-Americans settled in Oklahoma due to the wealth from oil fields.
In 1908 the Greenwood Heights community in Tulsa, Oklahoma was established. It was known as “the Negro Wallstreet” and was comparable in affluence to Beverly Hills today. About 15,000 African-Americans lived in this neighbourhood.
The Greenwood business district boasted around 600 African-American owned, successful businesses including modest two-seat barber shops to family-run grocery stores. It was one of the most concentrated African-American business communities in America.
A number of jazz and blues artists also sprung from this area. Greenwood was also home to not one, but two black newspapers: The Tulsa Star and The Oklahoma Sun.
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