Tulsa’s Black Wall Street Booms Again
28 May 2021
One hundred years ago, a dollar would change hands 30 to 100 times in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma—moving from the till of one thriving business to another. That all came to an end on May 31, 1921, when a white mob descended on the community and killed over 200 of its Black residents and caused $50-million worth of damages to its luxury hotels, apartment buildings, schools, theaters, banks and other Black-owned businesses.
Today, in the 40-square blocks of what was once coined “Black Wall Street,” there’s been a resurgence of Black businesses and a revival of Black entrepreneurial spirit. Here, we highlight a few of the businesses carrying the torch. They represent the city’s renewed focus on building Black culture while creating prosperity and fueling what could become Tulsa’s second boom.
Fulton Street Books and Coffee
When former educator Onikah Asamoa-Caesar opened Fulton Street Books and Coffee in July 2020, she wanted it to be a place where residents could congregate to exchange ideas, learn and celebrate Greenwood’s legacy. “The beautiful thing about Fulton Street is that we’re able to build a space that allows people of color to walk in and have this sense of, ‘Someone thought of me when they built this,” Asamoa-Caesar says.