by Senior Writer Britni Sharde
Tulsa’s Greenwood District, also known as Historic Black Wall Street, was the most influential hub of Black entrepreneurship and free enterprise in the history of the United States. In May of 1921, this preeminent community was brutally attacked, burned, and left in ruins with more than 10,000 businesses destroyed, including movie theatres, barber shops, restaurants, and hotels. Over the past nine decades, hundreds of thousands of people have pushed forth efforts to see the progression of this important community. And now, in 2020, we get the privilege to partake in the development of an inspirational space.
From May 1st 2020 – May 31st of this year, the Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition will host a month-long “10,000 Brick Campaign.” This movement will allow any community member and those around the world to make a personal contribution to a powerful grassroots, community-driven fundraiser to build the Black Wall Street Memorial at the Historic Vernon AME Church in Tulsa, OK. This project is intended to assist with the building of a memorial in honor of the countless lives lost during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Since 2019, the Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition has worked in conjunction with the Equal Justice Initiative to further the mission of honoring the history and lives of our ancestors that have been lost to racial terror nationally through a series of soil collections. Participants that purchase one of the commemorative bricks will have that brick added to the 10,000 slated to surround the Black Wall Street Memorial upon its completion with the option of having an engraving on said brick in commemoration of Historic Greenwood’s storied legacy.
“Tulsa has a legacy that we have been silent about for too long and it is time to end the silence,” said Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, the founder of the Black Wall Street Memorial committee. “Our coalition is committed to ensuring that the legacies of hundreds of African-Americans murdered at the hands of racial violence is permanently woven into the scrolls of American history.” The Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition thanks all those who have participated in the establishment of bringing this memorial into fruition. Now is the time to build something admirable and innovative that will honor former generations and inform and inspire those to come.
Please visit the Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition’s website for more information about this important project.
Photo courtesy of the Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition