Ep. 13 Black Wall Street: The Renaissance (Coming Soon)
Updated: Jul 1
Photo Courtesy: Tulsa Historical Society and Museum
In his book, Black Wall Street, attorney, author, consultant and Tulsa expert, Hannibal Johnson suggests that the Greenwood District is, "in the midst of a renaissance. But it is a renaissance of spirit, not of bricks and mortar. New hotels, cafes, and shops are not being built. Those businesses that exist still struggle to survive. Physically, the Greenwood District today pales in comparison to the same area in its prime. But the soul of the Greenwood District remains deeply embedded in its people." Thanks to the creation of the Greenwood Cultural Center Johnson writes, people all over the wold now know of the Greenwood legacy and it's constituent organizations, including the North Tulsa Heritage Foundation, Inc., the Business and Industrial Development Corporation (BIDC), and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Additionally, there is also the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Center, named for Tulsa native and historian, Dr. John Hope Franklin, which aims to "transform the bitterness and mistrust caused by years of racial division, even violence, into a hopeful future of reconciliation and cooperation for Tulsa and the nation," according to the organizations website. And then there is the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission - a partner of this podcast - which works to quote, "leverage the history surrounding the events of nearly 100 years ago by developing programs, projects, events and activities to commemorate and inform,” the commission’s website says. All of these organizations and their efforts were born out of a desire to acknowledge Tulsa's painful history, actively work to commemorate the victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and create a more peaceful, inclusive path forward. If this can be accomplished, than it is possible Black Wall Street can return to the greatness of her glory days.