Black Wall Street is an apt name for Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood, which was a haven for Black entrepreneurs during the early 20th century. Black entrepreneurs had a variety of businesses and services, including barber shops, real estate agents, and restaurants. These businesses were largely successful and helped make Tulsa’s “Black Wall Street” a bustling community. In the 1950s, more than half of the Black Wall Street business district closed. But now, local organizations are working to rebuild the original community and bring greater wealth to the area.
The district was a self-sustaining enclave for the Black community. It was located in a 35-square-block area and was comprised of all Black-owned businesses. The community was established in 1905 when African Americans began acquiring land in the area.
The district was a thriving area in the early 1900s, but it lost its way after the Civil Rights era. The district became an insular area because of segregation. The white community refused to wait for an investigation, and a violent white mob destroyed the district. In the end, more than 300 Black Americans were killed. The killing was a catalyst for a national reckoning on race relations.
As a result of the racist violence, the district lost its reputation, and many Black business owners lost their livelihoods. In the 1940s, the district was rebuilt. However, the destruction of the area had a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of Black residents. This was because the government made it nearly impossible to recover.
As a result, the Tulsa Economic Development Corporation has launched a franchise program that targets Black entrepreneurs in the city. It is a collaborative project with the Entrepreneurial Development and Education Network (EDEN), a non-profit organization dedicated to building a strong local entrepreneurial ecosystem for entrepreneurs of color. It is designed to help Black entrepreneurs become more competitive and generate new business opportunities in the area.
In addition to the franchise program, the Tulsa Economic Development Corporation is launching a new business incubator that is targeted to Black entrepreneurs. The company is led by Rose Washington, former chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s board of directors. It is working to create innovative programs to help build a stronger local economy.
One of the projects the organization is focusing on is to revive the “Black Wall Street” of the past. In October, the HBO television series “Watchmen” drew from the real-life events of the Tulsa Massacre. The fictional version of the event appeared in the opening scenes of the television show. The show’s portrayal of the Tulsa race massacre has raised awareness of the event.
Another initiative of the Tulsa Economic Development Corporation is its EDEN (Entrepreneurial Development and Education Network) project. The group is developing innovative programs that will help build a stronger local entrepreneurial ecosystem for entrepreneurs of color. Among the goals are to provide financial literacy education and sound competition. In addition, ice will be sold on site.