Updated: Aug 14, 2020
Black wealth, pride and unity.
Kinship. Pride. Return on Investments. Profits. Top Quality Products and Customer Service. Community. Strength in numbers. Together they stood. Together they fell. Black Wall Street.
This is a part of our history that few people know about, thus showing we have forgotten how to build up and build with others. We have forgotten how to learn from our ancestors and thus … we bask in our unknown ignorance.
Tulsa, Oklahoma in the early 1900s had many African Americans immigrating to escape vicious racial tensions. As a result of the increased black population and Jim Crow laws, black entrepreneurship exploded, so much that a town was established in 1906 called “Black Wall Street”.
History says there were over 11,000 residents in Tulsa, Oklahoma with hundreds of prosperous businesses owned and operated by black Tuscans that were patronized by both whites and blacks.
At its best, the Black Wall Street community became self sufficient with theaters, hotels, grocery stores, nightclubs, drug stores, churches, funeral homes, restaurants, banks, and much more. Black Wall Street was also filled with homes of many black multimillionaires and entrepreneurs. Bolstering the true meaning of community, Black Wall Street become known for its black wealth, pride, and unity.
What happened? Some of us still have wealth, but what happened to the pride and unity? What happened to quality of products and dignity in the customer service delivered? What happened to good, honest work ethics?
Many of us have heard, “I’ll pay ya’ tomorrow” or experienced those “no show/no call” work contractors. We have heard and said, “I will not do business with black folks”, “You really can’t depend on black owned business offering the best of services”. Why do “we” always seem like we don’t care”, or “Don’t hire a black contractor, you will be sorry ”. This is so frustrating and a bad reputation for black businesses, even when we know not all black businesses are like this.