Photography logo

Living Making History

A small town with a rich history.

By Avery NicolePublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Greenwood Ave. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Growing up as a kid, I always saw bigger cities being displayed in movies and wondered why movie writers didn’t find my city interesting enough for a serious plot to happen. I thought maybe where I was from wasn’t as cool as New York or California since giant fictional creatures like Godzilla didn’t choose Tulsa to wreak havoc on. I know now that this logic was silly, but as a kid representation meant a lot to me. One day, I was sharing my concern of my boring city to my grandmother and when she heard my concerns, she asked me why I felt that way I did and when I told her it because we weren’t a movie famous city. She told me after she finished her client (she was a hair beautician) she would tell me a story I would never forget. One day, we would be movie famous, it would only take the world to do some changing before that happened and to my surprise she was right, I never forgot the story, and I didn’t find my city boring from then on.

Tulsa, Oklahoma is the proud home of the historically famous Black Wall Street, a predominantly black community that was made up of over 300 black owned businesses’. Black Wall Street was the perfect solution to the problems that came with racism during that time. It was a community made for us, by us. It brought a lot of positive awareness to our city, so much so that famous historical people like Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Dubois would come to see the wonders of the black community that would get the attention of the world until one sad Memorial Day weekend.

In 1921, Dick Rowland was wrongfully accused of assaulting a white woman and although the charges were dropped, rumors circulated around town that Rowland was to be lynched. After hearing rumors, black community members waited outside of the jail to ensure Rowland’s safety. When officers assured the community of his safety, they proceeded to leave, as they were leaving a community member of the opposing race tried to disarm one of the black community members and this was the beginning of the ethnic riots in Tulsa.

White community members gathered their torches, weapons, ammunition and headed straight toward the thriving community of Black Wall Street. Where they terrorized anyone or anything that got in their way. Businesses and houses were burned, people were taken from their homes and thousands of black residents were left homeless after the riot. Only a small portion of deaths were recorded but from the stories I was told as a girl a lot more died than what was recorded. The riot was ignored from the history books, it was the demise of Black Wall Street.

Although my home carries a dark past, without that past it doesn’t make me unique, it doesn’t showcase the determination and perseverance we had endure to get to where we are now as a community. No one is perfect by any means but it’s about what is being done to right the wrong that was done almost a 100 years ago and a museum displaying all the wonderful artifacts recovered from the horrifying event is a step in the right direction.

I can’t wait to take my children and show them the rich history my grandparents and great-grandparents shared with me. North Tulsa is a unique place to live and I’m so thankful to have been born and raised in such a place as this!

In a city where everyday society becomes a little more educated, a little less intimidated and more of an advocate for my community makes me proud to call North Tulsa, Ok my home.


About the Creator

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.