Greenwood District raises new sign: "Remembering Black Wall Street"

Posted at 7:34 PM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 00:57:51-04

TULSA -- A new landmark that has been a year in the making rose to its rightful place Tuesday afternoon. 

The process was meticulous, the dozens of screws carefully placed.

For artist Chris Rogers, today is an important day. 

“The first thing you're struck by is, 'Wow, Greenwood used to be really, really big.'”

Important not only for him, but for the entire Greenwood District.

“As a native Tulsan, going through the Tulsa Public School system, this was not taught in school," said Jamaal Dyer of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Centennial Commission. 

The giant sign tucked away at the corner of East Archer Street and North Greenwood Avenue "remembering" where this block used to be. 

“Each one of these names of businesses on the sign has a history," Rogers said. 

Each name a business that stood tall on Black Wall Street back in 1935. 

Even the building the sign sits on a part of the story, included in the photograph as part of Greenwood's history.

 “In a time when people who were in Tulsa who were in position didn’t want them to rebuild, and didn’t want them to thrive and didn’t want them resurge, these people had a spirit of resilience," Dyer said.

He searched for the names closest to him. 

“My childhood church is St. Andrews Baptist Church," he said. 

And he wasn't the only one struck by the power of the sign. 

“I didn’t know. I was just notified about it today," joked Wanda J's Owner Tyron Walker. 

He walked from just around the corner to see the sign for the first time. 

“History is always important, regardless of if it’s good or bad, we should never give away history," he said.

Each step up the ladder a step closer to more growth in the district of perseverance.

“The dream is still there. We can all hold hands and be able to support one another, and each other’s endeavors to be able to carry on through time," Walker said. 

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