“The foundation of the wealth:” Why Black Wall Street boomed – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-05-28 13:57:54 –

Tulsa, Oklahoma (AP) — A 100-year-old family story about a teenage aunt who liked to drive a luxury car …

Tulsa, Oklahoma (AP) — A 100-year-old family story, where a teenage aunt likes to drive a luxury car down the Tulsa tram tracks, and Christie Williams still lives. All black Americans after slavery taste a little, lasting taste about what could have been different.

Tulsa celebrates the 100th anniversary of a two-day assault on Tulsa’s prosperous Black Wood community (nationally known as Blackwall Street) by an armed white man on Monday. Attention was drawn to the era of deadly crowd raids on the officially recorded black community. It was suppressed for a long time.

But Williams and other descendants of liberated blacks enslaved to Native American nations that once owned much of the land under Tulsa need more Americans to know Blackwall Street. Says there is another part of the history of.

Descendants and historians say this has important lessons for modern racial issues in the United States, including the long-discussed issue of compensation.

Part of the story: Where did much of the seed money that created the Black Wall Street boom come from?

Unlike black Americans across the country after slavery, Williams’ ancestors and thousands of other Native American black members who owned post-war liberated slaves “had land,” Tulsa said. Community activist Williams says: “They had the opportunity to build a house on the land and cultivate it, and they became wealthy with crops.”

“And you think it’s a huge opportunity and this will last for generations. I can leave my children here and they leave them here. “You can,” says Williams. His ancestors became judges of the Supreme Court of the Muscogee Creek after slavery from slave workers.

In fact, Aleina E. Roberts, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, wrote in her book “I’ve been here all the time: The Liberation of Blacks in Native Lands” that “the only liberated slaves in five Native American countries”. Became a slave of. ” Africans around the world can receive what can be considered compensation for large-scale enslavement. “

Why it happened in the territory that became Oklahoma, not in the southern part that owns slaves: the southern states against the Confederate American countries that own slaves wholly or partially allied with the Confederate States of America. The US government enforced stricter conditions. ..

After the Civil War, U.S. officials quickly broke General William T. Sherman’s famous Special Field Order No. 15, which provided 40 acres of land to each once-slave family, but the U.S. treaty was Choctaw. , Chickasaw, Cherokee, Mascogie Creek, Seminole — Sharing rights with tribal lands and other resources with liberated blacks who were enslaved.

By 1860, about 14% of the total population of that tribal territory in future Oklahoma was black enslaved by tribal members. After the Civil War, black tribal freedmen shared with other tribal members and later owned millions of acres in large individual allocations.

The difference made is “immeasurable,” Roberts said in an interview. “The allocation actually gave them upward liquidity, which other blacks do not have in most parts of the United States.”

Economic stability allowed Black Native American freedmen to start businesses, farms, and ranches, creating a future Black Wall Street and a thriving black community in Oklahoma. The prosperity of these communities often disappeared for a long time, but “attracted black African-Americans from the South and built them as a black mecca,” says Roberts. There were about 200 businesses on Black Wall Street alone.

When Booker T. Washington met the liberator of a black tribe in the thriving black city of Borry in 1905, he said, “A black man who has something of value and value, not only as an individual but also as a race. Wrote praise for the community demonstrating their rights. A permanent place of civilization created by Americans. “

Some tribes are said to have given black members the worst rocky, uncultivated land, but before the state changed the Indian Territory to Oklahoma in 1907, it was the first in the 20th century. For several years, excavators have been the place to mine oil, making the area around Tarsa the largest oil producer in the world.

For Eli Grayson, another descendant of the Black Freedman of Muscorgi Creek, the history of trying to tell the story of Black Wall Street without telling the story of the Black Indian Freedman and their land is a failure.

“They miss the cause of wealth, the foundation of wealth,” says Grayson.

The wealth of oil not only brought about the bustle and boom of the black-owned Greenwood business district in Tulsa, but also brought good luck to the few Frieds who made headlines all over the United States. Among them was Sara Rector, who was 11 years old. She was a Muscogee Creek girl and was hailed by newspapers at the time as “the wealthiest woman in the world.” Her oil assets have caught the attention of Booker T. Washington and WEB Dubois. They intervened to make sure that Lector’s white guardian wasn’t looting her money.

Wealth from tribal assignments also spawned the story of Williams’ family: Johnny “learned to drive by going behind a line of trolleys” in Talsa, his uncle Johnny, his parents in a car, Williams. Uncle, 67-old Samuel Morgan said with a laugh.

“It was really fashionable because it was one of the cars with all four windows rolled up,” says Morgan.

Most of that black wealth does not remain today.

In May 1921, 100 years ago this month, Aunt Johnny, then a teenager, had to flee the Dreamland cinema in Greenwood. The ruins where the burnt corpse lives.

Black freedmen and many other American Indian citizens are unscrupulous or careless whites imposed on them by property taxes, white fraud, accidents, racist policies and laws, business mistakes and misfortunes. Rapidly lost land and money by parents of. For Aunt Johnny, what the family knows today is the vague story of a burning well on her land.

The descendants of Williams, Grayson, and other black freedmen pass through Tulsa’s spot, 51st Avenue, where family history is said to have once belonged to them. The site of Oral Roberts University. Mingo Park.

This is another lesson that Tulsa’s Greenwood has in other parts of the United States, says William A. Darity Jr., a prominent scholar and writer of compensation at Duke University.

According to Darity, if the liberated blacks received reparations after the Civil War, attacks such as the Tulsa race massacre would be resentful to the whites at the money in their hands. Given, it shows that years of US military deployments were needed to protect them.


See the full coverage of the Associated Press 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre: https://apnews.com/hub/tulsa-race-massacre

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