Black Wall Street: The African American Haven That Burned and Then Rose From the Ashes


#TIA – Out of history’s ashes: the story of the shameful black wall street massacre in Tulsa.

“Don’t you realize that Greenwood was Wakanda before Wakanda?”

It’s a sweltering May evening in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a local poet named Phetote Mshairi is performing for a crowd of about three dozen onlookers. His large black T-shirt is emblazoned with a solemn picture of Barack Obama, the monochrome pattern of the illustration matching the wispy white tendrils flowing out of his dark beard. Above him, two street signs stacked atop each other offer dueling histories of the corner. This is Greenwood Avenue, a sleepy thoroughfare that winds past a new luxury apartment complex, through the Oklahoma State University–Tulsa campus, and into the northern half of the city. But it’s also a haven once known as Black Wall Street, the epicenter of African American entrepreneurship and wealth in the early 20th century.”

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