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The Black-owned business experience in the 20's in the US: Black Wall Street.

O.W. Gurley, a wealthy Black landowner, purchased land in Tulsa and named it Greenwood, this district was known as “Black wall street”. He sold land only to Black settlers and, there, he set up black businesses after moving to Tulsa in 1906. His first real estate venture was a boarding house to support the growing number of Black people migrating from the South.



Whatever the community needed; they could find it in there. Because of segregation a lot of people worked on the White side of the town but would come and spend their money in Tulsa, which would strengthen the district’s economy.


It was clear that African Americans saw Tulsa as the actual “Land of the free”. People kept arriving and businesses were flourishing. Gurley owned at least 100 out of the 600 business in Tulsa. He also loaned money to people who wanted to start their businesses and other affluent African Americans followed suit.


J.B. Stradford was a lawyer and activist that moved to Tulsa in 1899 and began planning the creation of a Black community on the outskirts of town. He built the then-largest Black-owned hotel in the country in Greenwood district Tulsa. Stradfords’ hotel was considered the finest Black owned hotel in the country, and it even rivalled some of the white owned hotels back then in Oklahoma.


For 15 years, Gurley helped build a town where Black families could afford to own private planes and play grand pianos in their living rooms. Black Wall Street was thriving at the time of the Tulsa race massacre of 1921; however, one cannot help but wonder what could have been if this injustice did not occur in Tulsa.


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