Greenwood: September 2009 Archives

Here it is:



Here are some previous entries on BatesLine that touch on Greenwood and include some of the material I shared at Ignite Tulsa.

Greenwood's streetcar: The Sand Springs Railroad (includes photos)

The rise and fall of Greenwood (includes high res 1951 aerial photo of Deep Greenwood)

Greenwood 1957

Film of Oklahoma's 1920s black communities available through Global ImageWorks

Tulsa 1957: Restaurant map

Notes on sources documenting the resurgence of Greenwood

Signs of Greenwood's rebuilding

Sometime soon, I will post the slides with a recorded narration, closer to the way I would have delivered the talk had I taken more time to rehearse and memorize. (No excuse, but I returned from a business trip just 90 minutes before the event was scheduled to begin. I waited far too long to get my slides together, and I should have taken time to write a narration and to revise my slides before submitting them. It takes a lot of work to say something in five minutes.)

I encourage you to watch all of the excellent Ignite Tulsa presentations. (I plan to do so; I was too distracted before my talk to absorb as much as I should have, and shortly after I finished, I was notified that I was needed at home.) My thanks to the organizers for bringing this idea to Tulsa and making the inaugural event such a success.

In my Ignite Tulsa talk on the "Greenwood Gap," I mentioned in passing the physical indications of the rebuilding and flourishing of Tulsa's African-American district after it was burned in 1921 by a white mob. I would have included photos of some of those signs, and I had some that I'd taken, but I couldn't find them, so earlier today I took some more, finding dates on buildings, on cornerstones, and on commemorative plaques that tell the story of Greenwood's post-1921 resurgence. (Click that link to view the set on Flickr.)

The churches, and the dates on their cornerstones, beg the question: If there wasn't a rebuilt neighborhood nearby, why were the churches rebuilt there? (Further, why did congregations build newer fancier buildings in the late '50s and early '60s?) (NOTE: In the olden days, churches were built in neighborhoods and people traveled short distances to church. They weren't set up like consumer-oriented big-box stores with huge parking lots, isolated from neighborhoods.)

Here's the Williams Building at 102 N. Greenwood Ave., rebuilt in 1922, after the building previously on that site was destroyed by the riot. Note the year above the name of the building.

Williams Building, 102 N. Greenwood Ave., Tulsa, rebuilt in 1922

After the jump, you'll see the plaque set in the sidewalk next to the building, and two more plaques -- one on the entrance to the Mabel B. Little Heritage House and the other on the entrance to the Greenwood Cultural Center.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Greenwood category from September 2009.

Greenwood: February 2009 is the previous archive.

Greenwood: November 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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