2021 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, where Greenwood, a prosperous, black neighborhood, was burned to the ground by white mobs, and hundreds of people were killed.
The commemoration has included public events and efforts to raise awareness, as well as the construction of a permanent museum space. Greenwood Rising is being built as a world-class history center to honor the icons of Black Wall Street, memorialize the victims of the massacre, and provide healing and inspiration to visitors.
Phil Armstrong, Project Director of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission and Kuma Roberts, Co-Chair of the Economic Development Committee, were recently interviewed about the new facility on YurView’s Main St. Living show. Watch the interview above, or read the full transcription below (lightly edited for clarity).
Black Wall Street History Center
Phil Armstrong, Project Director, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission (00:14) – Greenwood Rising is a state-of-the-art museum grade facility that is designed to educate, enlighten and inform all citizens, whether Tulsa, Oklahoma or from around the world, on the community that we refer to as Greenwood, or Black Wall Street.
It’s called Greenwood Rising, the Black Wall Street History Center, an 11,000 square foot facility that is being constructed right at the corner of the historic Greenwood and Archer Avenue intersection.
So the opportunity to build this history center right at that corner just has an incredible amount of historical significance.
Revitalization of Greenwood
Kuma Roberts, Co-Chair of the Economic Development Committee (1:12) – The impact of the project of Greenwood Rising and the revitalization of Greenwood will be significant.
I believe that what we are looking at are people are going to be coming here from a respective tourism to see the sacred space.
People died on this land and gave their lives to something that was racial in nature. We’re still dealing with and suffering from a lot of racial issues today. So there’ll be that powerful impact that people will want to put their feet on this hallowed ground.
Experience the History
PA (01:44) – So Greenwood Rising really is going to be a place for healing, healing from racial trauma, healing of broken relationships between different groups of people.
For every person that comes through Greenwood Rising, whether they’re black, whether they’re white, whether they’re a person of color, whether they’re a person of influence, whether they’re highly educated, or not. Every person that comes through this is going to learn and experience the history in the story.
And if you can’t make it to Tulsa to experience the tour in person, the Greenwood Rising XR Walking Tour app offers an extended reality tour of the district.
The mission of Greenwood Rising is to allow visitors to commit to racial justice and reconciliation and to educate the youth of tomorrow on race relations. You can find more information at www.GreenwoodRising.org.
Related: Booker T. Washington High School Connected to Tulsa Race Massacre
Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 – Remembering Greenwood