Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District
by Hannibal B. Johnson
Publication Date: Aug 01, 2007
List Price: $22.95
Format: Paperback, 307 pages
Imprint: Eakins Press Foundation
Publisher: Eakins Press Foundation
Parent Company: Eakins Press Foundation
Early in the 20th century, the black community in Tulsa — the “Greenwood District” — became a nationally renowned entrepreneurial center. Frequently referred to as “The Black Wall Street of America,” the Greenwood District attracted pioneers from all over America who sought new opportunities and fresh challenges. Legal segregation forced blacks to do business among themselves. The Greenwood District prospered as dollars circulated within the black community. But fear and jealousy swelled in the greater Tulsa community.
The alleged assault of a white woman by a black man triggered unprecedented civil unrest. The worst riot in American history, the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, destroyed people, property, hopes, and dreams. The Greenwood District burned to the ground, only to be rebuilt from the ashes, bigger and better than ever. By 1942, some 242 businesses call the Greenwood District home. Having experienced decline in the ’60s — early ’80s, the area is now poised for yet another renaissance.
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