For the early part of the 20th century, Black Wall Street was one of the most affluent African American communities in the United States of America. According to Hannibal Johnson, author of Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District, it was O.W. Gurley who owned the first black business there. “He had a vision to create something for black people by black people.”
Other prominent black entrepreneurs followed suit. J.B. Stradford, a lawyer and activist who was born into slavery, built a 55-room luxury hotel bearing his name–the largest black-owned hotel in the country. An outspoken businessman, Stradford believed that blacks had a better chance of economic progress if they pooled their re- sources.
It was said that within Black Wall Street, every dollar would change hands 19 times before it left the community. Black Wall Street thrived as the epicenter of African American business and culture until it was burned to the ground on May 31, 1921.
One hundred years later, BlackWallStreet.com is born.
Welcome to the new Black Wall Street.
Marye Dean, Esq.