Deeper Than You Realize

Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Greenwood Avenue south of Easton Street, looking north along Sand Springs Railroad tracks. Undated photo from Beryl Ford collection
Greenwood is a neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As one of the most successful and wealthiest African American communities in the United States during the early 20th Century, it was popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street” until the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The riot was one of the most devastating race riots in history and it destroyed the once thriving Greenwood community.

Within five years after the riot, surviving residents who chose to remain in Tulsa rebuilt much of the district. They accomplished this despite the opposition of many white Tulsa political and business leaders. It resumed being a vital black community until segregation was overturned by the Federal Government during the 1950s and 60s. Desegregation encouraged blacks to live and shop elsewhere in the city, causing Greenwood to lose much of its original vitality. Since then, city leaders have attempted to encourage other economic development activity nearby.

Events like this are the reason why the N word is so damn hurtful and disrespectful, please pay attention Paula Deen and Riley Cooper, and to any one else who thinks that racism of any kind is no big deal.

Follow me on twitter @lawrenceisland1

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