TULSA, Okla. — Before it was destroyed in 1921, the Historic Greenwood District used to be home to hundreds of locally owned small businesses.
While the history of Black Wall street was almost snuffed out, the spirit of entrepreneurship for those who have roots in the area was not.
There’s a new business on Greenwood Street called the Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge, but it is much more than a coffee shop — it’s a symbol for what many hope is to come.
“We made a decision to open up a coffee shop to really bring back the memories of Black Wall Street”," said Guy Troupe. He and his wife, Yvette Troupe, opened their coffee shop on 10 North Greenwood Avenue #S101 on Jan. 6.
Like it’s name suggests, the Black Wall Street lounge specializes in lattes, espressos and teas, but Troupe says the feeling of belonging is sweeter than any pastry they serve.
"That rich history that since of community how people understood the need to barter and trade to work together is really what we have to rebuild," Troupe said. "To really create an environment to socialize and engage.”
Troupe says that spirit of Greenwood runs in his roots.
“My great aunt Lucile Troupe taught the majority of beauticians at Troupe’s Beauty College in the 40s and 50s on historic Black Wall Street.”
Historic Greenwood Chamber of Commerce CEO, Dr. Freeman Culver, wants more people and businesses to feel that connected to Greenwood.
“This is a story of resiliency and success," said Dr. Culver. "If it can happen right here on Greenwood it can happen again, some other place in America or some other place in the world."
Which is why Dr. Culver and his colleague Stevyn Turner started a million dollar campaign to restore the 10 historical buildings that are left in the Greenwood's Black Wall Street after the 1921 Tulsa Massacre.
"Our ancestors would be proud if we could restore what they left to us," said Dr. Culver. “If we can get this place to where it once was, it will be a hope to everyone, because that’s the new American dream; to be an entrepreneur.”
To donate, click here.
If you would like to mail in the donation, it can be mailed to GCDC, c/o Greenwood Chamber of Commerce 116 N. Greenwood Ave. Tulsa, Oklahoma 74120.
Check donations should be made out to Greenwood Community Development Corporation.
If you have any further questions about donating or would like to learn more about the Historic Greenwood and Black Wall Street, call 918-585-2084 or 918-378-2668.
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