Any of you Historical Genius' heard of Black Wallstreet

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    Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    During the oil boom of the 1910s, the area of northeast Oklahoma around Tulsa flourished, including the Greenwood neighborhood, which came to be known as "the Negro Wall Street" (now commonly referred to as "the Black Wall Street")[2] The area was home to several prominent black businessmen, many of them multimillionaires. Greenwood boasted a variety of thriving businesses that were very successful up until the Tulsa Race Riot. Not only did African Americans want to contribute to the success of their own shops, but also the racial segregation laws prevented them from shopping anywhere other than Greenwood [3]. Following the riots, the area was rebuilt and thrived until the 1960s when desegregation allowed blacks to shop in areas that were restricted before.

    The buildings on Greenwood Avenue housed the offices of almost all of Tulsa’s black lawyers, realtors, doctors, and other professionals [4]. In Tulsa at the time of the riot, there were fifteen well-known African American physicians, one of whom was considered the “most able Negro surgeon in America” by one of the Mayo brothers.[5] Greenwood published two newspapers, the Tulsa Star and the Oklahoma Sun, which covered not only Tulsa, but also state and national news and elections.

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    One of the nation's worst acts of racial violence, the Tulsa Race Riot, occurred there on June 1, 1921, when 35 square blocks of homes and businesses were torched by mobs of angry whites.

    The riot began because of an alleged assault of a white woman, Sarah Page, by an African American man, Dick Rowland. The Tulsa Tribune got word of the incident and published the story in the paper on May 31, 1921. Shortly after the newspaper article surfaced, there was news that a white lynch mob was going to take matters into its own hands and kill Dick Rowland.[5]

    African American men began to arm themselves and join forces in order to protect Dick Rowland. Subsequently, white men armed themselves and confronted the group of African American men. There was an argument in which a white man tried to take a gun from a black man, and the gun fired a bullet up into the sky. This incident promoted many others to fire their guns, and the violence erupted on the evening of May 31, 1921. Whites flooded into the Greenwood district and destroyed the businesses and homes of African American residents. No one was exempt to the violence of the white mobs; men, women, and even children were killed by the mobs. In an effort to completely destroy the Greenwood District of Tulsa, firemen were held at gunpoint by whites making it impossible to put out the flames.

    Troops were eventually deployed on the afternoon of June 1, but by that time there was not much left of the once thriving Greenwood district. Over 600 successful businesses were lost. Among these were 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores and two movie theaters, plus a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half-dozen private airplanes and even a bus system. Note - It was a time when the entire state of Oklahoma had only two airports, yet six blacks owned their own planes.

    It was suspected by many blacks that the entire thing was planned because many white men, women and children stood on the borders of the city and watched as blacks were shot, burned and lynched. In addition some of the black owned airplanes were stolen by the white mob and used to throw cocktail bombs & dynamite sticks from the sky.

    [11] Property damage totaled $1.5 million (1921).[11] Although the official death toll claimed that 26 blacks and 13 whites died during the fighting, most estimates are considerably higher. At the time of the riot, the American Red Cross listed 8,624 persons in need of assistance, in excess of 1,000 homes and businesses destroyed, and the delivery of several stillborn infants
     

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