(Image: Remembering Black Wall Street)
Black Wall Street’s destruction, Tulsa, 1921
By Danielle Marie Holland
An organization working to unearth and examine the history of racist land practices in Seattle and the Central District and push for economic solutions to repair the damage will bring a night of lessons and learnings about the destruction of Oklahoma Black Wall Street to 14th Ave’s Washington Hall and online Saturday night.
The King County Reparations Project invites the community together in remembering the history of Black Wall Street while advancing the project of local reparations and racial reconciliation.
“REMEMBERING BLACK WALL STREET: An evening remembering the history and tragic loss of Black Wall Street, Tulsa, OK,” draws upon a shared history and celebration of resilience from across the country, organizers say.
“People can use Tulsa as a model for what changes and impactful things can happen in communities around the United States” said Dr. Phil Armstrong, director of the Greenwood Rising Black Wall St. Center in Tusla, OK, and featured speaker at Saturday’s event.
Greenwood had been a thriving African American district in Tulsa. On May 31st, 1921, the district was looted and burned by white rioters, the governor declared martial law, and National Guardsmen swarmed the district. Within 24 hours, city blocks were left in ruins and hundreds died. This event became known as the Greenwood Massacre.
The rising Black Wall Street History Center opened in August of 2021, as the pinnacle project of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre Centennial Commission. It serves to educate through immersive storytelling and celebrate the resiliency of the community. Visitors leave after making a contribution to a digital commitment wall answering “How will you begin your journey to racial reconciliation?” said Armstrong.
As the conversation on what racial reconciliation should look like continues to advance across cities, regions, and the nation, Armstrong believes support for reparations has increased across the population. “More progress has been made in the last five years than have been made in the previous 20,” Armstrong said.
Organizers said Saturday’s event is “not only a call to make people aware of our shared history,” but to show the community “we have opportunities to fix the problems of systemic racism” through reparation efforts. Continue reading