Black Wall Street
Have you ever heard about Black Wall Street?
I heard, read and watched documentaries about Black Wall Street during my sophomore year of college. I made it a point to one day visit the area that was once the wealthiest most affluent places for African Americans.
Black Wall Street is located in Greenwood, (a Suburb of Tulsa), Oklahoma. It reigns so much history.
Black Wall Street was started “in 1906, O.W. Gurley, a wealthy African-American from Arkansas, moved to Tulsa and purchased over 40 acres of land that he made sure was only sold to other African-Americans,” writes Christina Montford in the Atlanta Black Star.
Seeing Black Wall Street in person was insightful, humbling and hurtful at the same time.
I do not recall reading about Black Wall Street in grade school. I never saw a Black History Project completed on Black Wall Street. It is almost as if it never happen. It's a place that hold so much rich history. My experience was insightful to know and understand that the ground I was walking on was the ground where my ancestors literally build a city that had the best school system, businesses, they were educated, and wealthy, and thriving not just surviving. They provided opportunities for one another and lifted each other as they climbed. As I walked down the street visualizing how things would have been, I beamed with pride and joy.
Humbling to know that I have the opportunity to read about the businesses that once occupied this quiet yet impactful place. Just to imagine what was life was like during such a time. I imagined the community and camaraderie in building and sustaining such a legacy.
It was hurtful to know that I had to walk down the street to imagine how life was like during that time. Black Wall Street does not exist today. It was attacked, looted and burned to the ground in 1921.
As I took the time to imagine the good, I also took the time to imagine what would it have been like to watch such an affluent neighborhood to be burned to the ground, the fear it took, the thought and having to start over had to be beyond painful and my heart yearned for such a remarkable place.
I am glad I had the opportunity to visit such an affluent place. I am glad I had the opportunity to learn about Black Wall Street and everything it had to offer. I am glad that I am able to share the story of such an accomplishment in history. Below I have provided additional resources on Black Wall Street:
Stay Crowned Kings and Queens