Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District



Early in the twentieth 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 Riot of 1921 destroyed people, property, hopes, and dreams. Hundreds of people died or were injured. Property damage ran into the millions. The Greenwood District burned to the ground. Ever courageous, the Greenwood District pioneers rebuilt and better than ever. By 1942, some 242 businesses called the Greenwood district home. Having experienced decline in the '60s, '70s, and early '80s, the area is now poised for yet another renaissance. Black Wall Street speaks to the triumph of the human spirit.

Product Details

$22.95  $21.11
Eakin Press
Publish Date
August 01, 2007
6.0 X 0.9 X 9.0 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Hannibal B. Johnson, a Harvard Law School graduate, is an author, attorney, and consultant specializing in diversity and inclusion issues, human relations, leadership, and non-profit leadership and management. He has taught at The University of Tulsa College of Law, Oklahoma State University, and The University of Oklahoma. Johnson serves on the federal 400 Years of African-American History Commission, a body charged with planning, developing, and implementing activities appropriate to the 400th anniversary of the arrival, in 1619, of Africans in the English colonies at Point Comfort, Virginia. He is the education chair for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Commission. His books, including Black Wall Street, Up from the Ashes, Acres of Aspiration, Apartheid in Indian Country, and The Sawners of Chandler, chronicle the African American experience in Oklahoma and its indelible impact on American history. The 2011 National Black Theatre Festival showcased Johnson's play, Big Mama Speaks-A Tulsa Race Riot Survivor's Story. Big Mama Speaks has also been staged in Caux, Switzerland. Johnson has received numerous awards and honors for his work and community service.