top of page

The Black Wallstreet

Black Wallstreet

The Black Wallstreet was a devastating time for many people. The “Black Wallstreet” was a name given by African-Americans to this community because it was the wealthiest Black community in America. Because of its wealth, it proved African-Americans had successful infrastructure. When the lower economic whites saw that the Blacks community flourished more than some of theirs, they became jealous. That’s when it started. On June 1, 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Black communities were bombed by white people. Many survivors say the Klu Klux Klan was in charge of the bombing as well as the riot. During the bombing, 3,000 African-Americans had died and 600 businesses were lost. Lots of people were arrested and held in jail but none were white. No charges were filed against individual white rioters.

The Black Wallstreet led to the Tulsa Race Riot. The Tulsa Race Riot was basically a war between Blacks and whites, in which they fired guns and other weapons at each other. A group of Black men were just at the courthouse trying to protect a Black man for being accused for an unjust crime, while a group of white men were also there to try and get the man to lynch him. When both groups of men were turned down they both got mad. However, one of the men from the white group was the first to fire. He fired at one of the men in the group of African-Americans. That is when the riot began. Tulsa officers did nothing at first but after while they gave directions to former lynch mobs. The directions stated: “Get a gun and get a ni__er.” White men ran through Black neighborhoods going through homes and stores looking for more weapons and ammunition to fire at the Blacks. The Blacks did not give up. They continued to fight back causing the riot to last for eighteen hours. After the riot, the Blacks were still terrorized and there was no reconciliation from the whites, but there was an apology from the chief police. ***I’ve never heard of the Black Wall street in my life.

Reading these different articles, were really good and entertaining. I learned a lot. I didn’t even know that there were any wealthy Black communities back then. Reading about this really made me sit and think about what they had to go through. The bombing, riots, slavery, our people have been through it all. Honestly my tears welled up while I read about this. None of my teachers have ever mentioned this before and I’m sure none of my friends know of it. These were very interesting articles, and to watch the video of some of the survivors and hear their personal testimonies was sad. It’s amazing that they survived through that. I know it was hard for them. I think more people should read about this. More of our people need to know what happened. In school all they teach us of is slavery, and even with that they don’t go into great detail. Wow. This story really blew me away. I loved it. It feels good to learn more about our people. But why didn’t any white people get charged with anything after the bombing or the riot? Only African-Americans were arrested afterwards for no reason. All they did was stick up for themselves and protect their families and businesses..!

written by Ariel Phillips

bottom of page