What Happened to Black Wall Street?

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Zaac, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. Zaac

    Zaac
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    Black Wall Street, the name fittingly given to one of the most affluent all-Black communities in America, was bombed from the air and burned to the ground by mobs of envious Whites. In a period spanning fewer than 12 hours, a once thriving Black business district in northern Tulsa lay smoldering – a model community destroyed and a major African-American economic movement resoundingly defused.

    The night’s carnage left some 3,000 African Americans dead and over 600 successful businesses 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. As could have been expected, the impetus behind it all was the infamous Ku Klux Klan, working in consort with ranking city officials and many other sympathizers.

    The best description of Black Wall Street, or Little Africa as it was also known, would be to compare it to a mini Beverly Hills. It was the golden door of the Black community during the early 1900s, and it proved that African Americans could create a successful infrastructure. That’s what Black Wall Street was all about.

    The dollar circulated 36 to 100 times, sometimes taking a year for currency to leave the community. Now a dollar leaves the Black community in 15 minutes. As for resources, there were Ph.D.s residing in Little Africa, Black attorneys and doctors. One doctor was Dr. Berry, who owned the bus system. His average income was $500 a day, hefty pocket change in 1910.It was a time when the entire state of Oklahoma had only two airports, yet six Blacks owned their own planes. It was a very fascinating community.

    The mainstay of the community was to educate every child. Nepotism was the one word they believed in. And that’s what we need to get back to. The main thoroughfare was Greenwood Avenue, and it was intersected by Archer and Pine Streets. From the first letters in each of those three names you get G.A.P. And that’s where the renowned R&B music group the GAP Band got its name. They’re from Tulsa.

    Black Wall Street was a prime example of the typical Black community in America that did business, but it was in an unusual location. You see, at the time, Oklahoma was set aside to be a Black and Indian state. There were over 28 Black townships there. One third of the people who traveled in the terrifying “Trail of Tears” alongside the Indians between 1830 and 1842 were Black people. The citizens of this proposed Indian and Black state chose a Black governor, a treasurer from Kansas named McDade. But the Ku Klux Klan said that if he assumed office that they would kill him within 48 hours.

    A lot of Blacks owned farmland, and many of them had gone into the oil business.

    The community was so tight and wealthy because they traded dollars hand to hand and because they were dependent upon one another as a result of the Jim Crow laws. It was not unusual that if a resident’s home accidentally burned down, it could be rebuilt within a few weeks by neighbors. This was the type of scenario that was going on day to day on Black Wall Street.

    When Blacks intermarried into the Indian culture, some of them received their promised “40 acres and a mule” and with that came whatever oil was later found on the properties. On Black Wall Street, a lot of global business was conducted.

    The community flourished from the early 1900s until June 1, 1921. That’s when the largest massacre of nonmilitary Americans in the history of this country took place, and it was led by the Ku Klux Klan. Imagine walking out of your front door and seeing 1,500 homes being burned. It must have been amazing.

    Survivors we interviewed think that the whole thing was planned, because during the time that all of this was going on, White families with their children stood around the borders of their community and watched the massacre – the looting and everything – much in the same manner they would watch a lynching. The riots weren’t caused by anything Black or White. They were caused by jealousy.

    A lot of White folks had come back from World War I and they were poor. When they looked over into the Black communities and realized that Black men who fought in the war had come home heroes, that helped trigger the destruction. It cost the Black community everything, and not a single dime of restitution – no insurance claims – has been awarded the victims to this day. Nonetheless, they rebuilt.

    We estimate 1,500 to 3,000 people were killed, and we know that a lot of them were buried in mass graves all around the city. Some were thrown into the river. As a matter of fact, at 21st Street and Yale Avenue, where there now stands a Sears parking lot, that corner used to be a coal mine. They threw a lot of the bodies into the shafts.
    ‘The gun went off, the riot was on’

    On the night of May 31,1921, mobs called for the lynching of Dick Rowland, a Black man who shined shoes, after hearing reports that on the previous day he had assaulted Sarah Page, a White woman, in the elevator she operated in a downtown building.

    A local newspaper had printed a fabricated story that Rowland tried to rape Page. In an editorial, the same newspaper said a hanging was planned for that night. As groups of both Blacks and Whites converged on the Tulsa Courthouse, a White man in the crowd confronted an armed Black man, a war veteran, who had joined with other Blacks to protect Rowland.

    Eddie Faye Gates, a member of the Tulsa Race Riot Commission, formed several years ago to determine exactly what happened, told CNN what happened next.

    “This White man,” she said, asked the Black man, “What are you doing with this gun?” “I’m going to use it if I have to,” the Black man said, according to Gates, “and (the White man) said, ‘No, you’re not. Give it to me,’ and he tried to take it. The gun went off, the White man was dead, the riot was on.”

    Truckloads of Whites set fires and shot Blacks on sight. When the smoke lifted the next day, more than 1,400 homes and businesses in Tulsa’s Greenwood District, a prosperous area known as the “Black Wall Street,” lay in ruins. Today, only a single block of the original buildings remains standing in the area. Experts now estimate that at least 3,000 died.
    ‘We’re in a heck of a lot of trouble’

    Beulah Smith was 14 years old the night of the riot. A neighbor named Frenchie came pounding on her family’s door in a Tulsa neighborhood known as “Little Africa” that also went up in flames.

    ...

    http://sfbayview.com/2011/02/what-happened-to-black-wall-street-on-june-1-1921/
     
  2. robustheologian

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    People will exclaim 'never forget' for 9/11 but will forget about the atrocities surrounding this.
     
  3. Don

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    Well, of course. 9/11 was done to us. This was done to ourselves.
     
  4. Zaac

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    I would venture that a pattern of behavior of Whites killing Blacks like this and during slavery and during Jim Crow and during James Crow Esquire would probably leave Blacks recognizing that a lot of white folks don't exactly view Blacks as part of the "US".

    There is no difference between the terrorism seen in the patterns of behavior of Whites against Blacks in this country than there was in the Muslim Jihadists against the US.

    The KKK and the people of Tulsa OBVIOUSLY didn't consider the Black communities of "Wall Street" as a part of the US. And it's the very same thing that Blacks will tell you that they are seeing today.
     
  5. Bro. Curtis

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    Excellent observation by Don.
     
  6. Don

    Don
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    Didn't think you'd understand.

    My brother and I used to get in some knock-down drag-outs. He even pulled a knife on me once. Then someone outside my family threatened my brother, and we concentrated our efforts on that person until there was no more threat. Then we commenced to wallopin' on each other again.
     
  7. righteousdude2

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    This is America, brother!

    I am tired of all the ghettos, barrios, Korea Towns, Little Tokyo's, Olivera Streets popping up all over this country. The divisions in the country are not for cultural support any longer, but wall's people build to keep others out! We need to assimilate, if we are truly going to be one, as a nation. Personally, you do more dividing than any person I've ever met. You must be the next Al Sharpton, incarnate!
     
  8. robustheologian

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    What is the standard to which we need to assimilate? And who determines this standard?
     
  9. targus

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    How about the Ten Commandments?

    Or the Golden Rule?
     
  10. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    America for Americans. We get it.

    Like people who do not like immigrants?
     
  11. righteousdude2

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    I love immigrants. I, myself came from a legal immigration family. Stop the semantics brother. I HAVE no tolerance for ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS NOT GOING TO THE BACK OF THE LINE. Of course you know that, you silly "rabbit!" :laugh:
     
  12. righteousdude2

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    I don't think you do. You continue to go jellybrained with my views. But I have not lost hope for you. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  13. Crabtownboy

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    What about all the places called Germantown, both communities and towns that carry this name, around the country?
     
  14. Zaac

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    Exactly. These places are tourist draws all around the country and a great source of community pride. And if they can do it, there really is no reason why all the other ethnic groups in the melting pot can't.
     
  15. Salty

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    I didn't realize that residents of Germantown still speaks German
     
  16. Squire Robertsson

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    Many of the place you cite are of long standing. Many date from the days when there was legally sanctioned segregation of housing. In many places outside the Old South, the segregation was found in deeds baring the sale of property to non-whites.
    An example of this is the case of Willy Mays. When the Giants moved to San Francisco, he sought to buy a house in an upscale nieghborhood (St Francis Woods). He soon found, out the property's deed (and those of its neighbors) disallowed the sale to Negros. Suffice to say, the establishment was embarressed enough so a way was found for Mr. Mays got his house.

     
  17. OnlyaSinner

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    Or that folks in Alexandria speak Arabic. Come to Maine and you might find all kinds of languages.

    http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM52P3
     
  18. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    Var lugn och äta kaniner.
     
  19. Zaac

    Zaac
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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Rolfe

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    Yep............
     

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