“The Death of Black Wallstreet”: The 1921 race attacks in Tulsa Oklahoma


A Privately owned bus line

2 movie theaters

2 newspapers 

21 churches

21 restaurants

30 grocery stores

a hospital

6 private planes

                     Looking at that list, its impressive for a modern town to boast these types of amenities, let alone a community in the early 1900s, and what makes it even more impressive it was a black community. You may be wondering where this was and why haven’t you heard of it before. All this splendor was encompassed within a 35 block radius of Tulsa Oklahoma that was nicknamed “Little Africa” or “Black Wall Street.” The main thoroughfare was Greenwood Ave, and Archer and Pine Streets intersected it. From the First letters in each of those names you get G.A.P., and that’s where the renowned R&B music group the GAP Band got its name . There have been other cities that carried the moniker of “black wall street” (parts of Durham North Carolina) but what made this area more impressive was the high level of prosperity and pride that each person of the community carried.


The mainstay of the community was to educate every child. Nepotism was the one word they believed in.

Today education has been reduced to being viewed as an afterthought or nuisance  in the journey of  becoming an instant celebrity or professional athlete.  Creating a place setting at the corporate table for those who look like you is almost non-existence due to the “crabs in a barrel” mentality and fear of losing your piece of the pie by helping someone else obtain theirs.

The dollar circulated 36 to 100 times, sometimes taking a year for currency to leave the community

Compare this to the fact that the dollar now leaves the black community in 15 minutes. While the spending power of current Black America is far larger than it was during that era, the monetary influence in the community pales in comparison.

In doing my research, I  began to wonder blacks in this community were able to acquire the wealth to build this type of paradise in the midst of racial bigotry. Its was one thing to own land, but blacks having ownership of six private planes when the state of Oklahoma only had two airports at the time was very impressive. The state of Oklahoma was initially designated as being a black and Native American state and there were 28 black townships in the area and  through  the inter-marrying of the Native Americans, some blacks were able to acquire their “fabled” 40 acres and a mule and many times that included oil. Because of Jim Crow laws, these growing communities were forced to pass the dollar from one hand to another which was the jump-start of creating independent wealth and word spread nationally that this was the place to be for blacks.This area also served as a hub for blacks in neighboring towns who had been forced to travel great distances for shopping and entertainment due to segregation laws in their own area.

However this all began to change on May 31st when a black male by the name of Dick Rowland was accused of sexually attacking a woman after he stumbled into her while entering an elevator. The primary instigator in fueling the rage of the racist whites in the community was the local newspaper, the Tulsa Tribune. The nicknamed the accused “Diamond Dick” and portrayed the victim as an orphan that had visible wounds and clothes were torn, when actuality she had deserted her husband in Kansas City and didn’t have a scratch on her. In addition to this article there is a reported editorial that encouraged the whites of the community to come together and lynch the young 19-year-old black male.

(I guess this was the beginning of lack of media integrity)

While he was taken into custody he was never formally charged with a crime but during that era of thick racial hate, a black person didn’t have to commit a crime for him to be considered next on the lynch mob’s list.

– It was not against the law for a white man to kill a black man.

– Groups of white men could take a black male out of police custody with the intention of killing him. 

– Just months earlier a man had been lynched and the crowd was given a police escort during the act.

– Two black people a week were being lynched in AMERICA during this period.

With the black community realizing that Rowland stood no chance of surviving the plot of the vigilante mob, they developed their own protection group and headed towards the courthouse where he was being held. In the subsequent confrontation between the whites and blacks at the courthouse and a stray gunshot was fired thus triggering one of the most heinous events to take place in America that has never been really discussed.

In order to “protect” themselves the city deputized over 500 white men, many of which were members of the Klu Klux Klan, and gave them the right to shoot any “nigger” on sight. Another part of the strategy involved them deploying airplanes to drop turpentine bombs while the blacks slept and upon fleeing their homes, the on looking white army would meet them with a barrage of bullets from various locations. Communication to the outside was cut off; phone and telegraph lines destroyed and even the railroad was blockaded so that no one could leave the area nor get in to find  out what was really going on in the city at the time. Now if this wasn’t systematic race eradication I don’t know what is.

(clockwise from top left) The white mob carrying the dying body of a black male, the initial burning of the city, the aftermath 

In the aftermath of the bombing and shooting, the whites ransacked these once luxurious homes taking anything they could find of value, with many being becoming enraged at the fact that “niggers” had nicer things than they did. The estimated property loss reached above $2.3 million. The estimated death tolls of African-Americans were in the hundreds. White vigilantes arrested thousands of African-Americans and held them for no apparent reasons and  approximately 4,300 African-Americans were left homeless and robbed of all their valuables. There were a few who escaped capturing by running for the hills or hiding under the beds in homes that had survived the air attack and the firebombs from the mobs who raided the neighborhoods on foot. Ironically some of the blacks, who worked as servants and maids, had their lives spared out of the goodness (sarcasm) of their white employers heart by having them hide in the attics or basements. God forbid that all the blacks would be killed in the community and they would have to do their own housework.

Just like word spread of the financial growth in this area, I can only imagine the reaction across the nation to find out about the destruction and the realization that even this piece of black prosperity was not above being attacked by destructive mindset called Racism. After the riots destroyed Greenwood, businesses were rebuilt, churches and schools reestablished and homes reconstructed; however, Greenwood never regained its prominence as a Black Wall Street.

While it was frustrating doing the research for this blog, I knew it was something that had to be discussed. I first have to thank my dad for even talking about what happened for if it weren’t for my father talking about it while he was in town for the 4th of July, I would have never known about the good nor the bad of the Greenwood community in Tulsa Oklahoma. I know there are plenty others like me who aren’t aware of this part of American history, not just black history, so I figured why not bring more awareness to what we had and hopefully it sparks a debate of what we are capable of having if we just come together.

Please feel free to share this blog with anyone you know and be sure to do your own research because this is only a piece of the story, and this is a story that needs to be known understood and told by all.

If you would like to watch the documentary,  where I got a lot of my information from, please  watch the video below and it is broken down into 12 parts.

Also here is the link to the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa Oklahoma



21 Questions for a Sports Fan

For those who know me and read my blogs know I am a HUGE sports fan so when I came across this on another sports junkie page Ed the Sports Fan who got it from The Smoking Section. Feel free to post it to your blog or your facebook page.

1. Who is your all-time favorite championship team in any sport?

The 1997 University of Michigan Wolverines.  That Wolverine team stands out because I was right in the midst of the greatness. I attended the Baylor vs. U-M game and after every victory would make that trek from EMU to Ann Arbor to go party at the Elks Lodge. This was before the age of social media and thirst hungry fans looking to be part of the next story, so the players on the team felt comfortable enough coming out to celebrate with the fans. I can remember seeing Marcus Ray and U-M hoop squad members like Maceo Baston in attendance regularly and talk about “hot in herrr” my most infamous moment came during a dance off with my boy. The floor was so sweaty that my rendition of the 90s megamix dances ended me on the floor in front of EVERYONE, but I played it off as well as I could and kept hammer dancing… 

2. What player’s poster did you have on your wall as a child?

Too many, I had a subscription to Sports Illustrated for kids and in every edition they had a pull out poster from Barry Sanders to Ken Griffey. But my two favorite posters were my Bill Laimbeer/Rick Mahorn Bad Boys poster and my Michael Jordan Wheaties poster. Yeah you would think that a super pistons fan wouldn’t have ANYTHING bulls related but I work AND ate hard to get the mini posters that made one big poster. 

3. What’s one NFL team you would get rid of right now? 

Hmm, I would have to say one of the Ohio Teams, I know it has to suck to see double ineptitude so I would spare the state the trouble and get rid of the Browns, at least Bungle fans can say they’ve been to the Super Bowl (even though their ownership SUCKS…)

4. What’s one player you cannot stand in any sport?

Can’t think of one actually… I guess if anything I would have to say Lebron James and that’s more so  frustration out of hate. I can recall him being unstoppable against the Pistons in the playoffs but since that series he has turned timid.

5. What’s one word you would use to describe Kobe Bryant? 


6. Finish this sentence: Baseball is ______. 

Undervalued… Not enough people realize the beauty of the sport. It’s the only sport where its an individual team sport, and I wont even get on the level of strategy that goes into as well as being the big money sport. 

7. What’s your favorite sports memory of all time?

One phrase sums it up “and there’s a steal by Bird…” yes it may be weird that my favorite moment involves my team being on the losing end. But it spoke to how great Larry was, and how close my pistons were to a dynasty. It was in the golden age of the NBA where there was talent from top to bottom and they played like men. The series was hard-fought and I can remember thinking as an 8-year-old YES because I just knew the game was over but screaming NOOO in a matter of seconds.  

8. If you could play a sport professionally, what would it be? 

Baseball… For one it’s not the most recognized sport so I could still have a personal life, and they have the longest career out of the major sports and you make the most money. 

9. Will you miss the NBA this season (should there be a non-NBA)?

Yes, I am a sports junkie, any of the major sports being interrupted is a problem, I guess it will give me more time for NBA 2K12 

10. You line up to run the 40-yard dash. What’s your time? 

HA HA… for real… do I have to answer this, maybe a 5.8 but I’d pull up lame at the end and blame my hammy 

11. What is one sports venue you want to visit before you die? 

Fenway Park, The history that comes from that stadium is epic and to be able to take a tour there would be awesome. Most other “special” venues I think I could get to, there is no real reason to go to Boston unless I’m going to the park 

12. Who will win the 2011 World Series? 

I am still having homer moments, so I will ride my Tigers out until they die… (and after that walk-off they may be on life support)

13. What’s the one food that MUST be at a football tailgate?

A Bratwurst… I’m not much of a beer man unless it’s a Corona with lime juice but its something about having a sausage with grilled onions and peppers that says sports event. 

14. How many titles will LeBron James win before he retires?

I’ll say 3; Two with the Heat and one elsewhere 

15. What one player’s jersey is hanging in your closet right now? 

Unlike many, I never gave up my throwbacks, I am a sports fan so it wasn’t about the trend for me. But one of my favorites is my Mike Schmidt Road Phillies jersey.

16. Watch a big game at home or at a sports bar? 

At home so I don’t feel bad throwing things  

17. Will Pacquiao and Mayweather ever fight? 

Not really sure, #moneyteam too busy making r&b videos and fake fighting to worry about PAC MAN 

18. If Peyton Manning’s career is done, does he rank top five or top 10 at quarterback? 

Top 10: While he has been magic behind the center, there still have been more quarterbacks  who have done more and were more impactful to their team. If he could have won that last Super Bowl then he would be knocking on the door but he didn’t 

19. You get 10 shots from the NBA three-point line. How many do you make? 

I am not even going to front I’m deadly from three-point and NOT in a good way so I may get lucky and hit 2. But I did play in the greek games at the Palace of Auburn Hills a couple of years back and the line didn’t seem as far as I thought it would. If I were in better shape I would say 4

20. You get a free trip to any sports Hall Of Fame, which do you choose? 

Well it’s not “technically” a hall of fame but the Negro League Museum… There is so much unknown history in that place that me as a baseball fan would appreciate and plus Kansas City has some great BBQ  

21. Duke basketball or UNC basketball? 

Where is choice C How about the Davidson Wildcats LOL, If I must choose I will say UNC only because of my disdain for duke hoops is so great I even wrote a blog about how much they irk me. Also at least the Tarheels produced one of my favorite Pistons Rasheed Wallace.

This was fun, I may have to come up with part two of this, but not before I figure out how to grill the perfect brat and hit at least one jumper in the park near my job…

Not made for her to drive…

Its been a while since I posted and I MUST do better… Actually what I have been contemplating is doing a blog series called Silent Road. Over the past couple of years I have been driving to work in silence for the most part (I may listen to sports talk radio if it’s a good topic at hand) and while it initially started as part of my “me with God time” it has just turned into a series of random thoughts that I ponder along the way. While many are not substatial enough for a full individual posts, combined they create a series of scatter-brained thoughts that sometimes make sense. This will start this monday and go until I run out of thoughts LOL. I really wish I had a good dictation application or didnt hate my voice or I would verbalize my thoughts as they happen so it would be easier to blog later about them but I digress…

saudi women driving

Many may be wondering why I named this blog Made not to Drive. I came across an email from http://www.change.org, a website that organizes various petitions to help facilitate change in the world. Normally I just delete them without really reading them but this one caught my eye. It was about applying pressure to car maker Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia until the women there are given the right to drive… Yeah I said it Saudi women are not allowed to drive vehicles and drive bikes. So you may be wondering how do they get around??? They either have to travel by foot or solicit the services of a male driver who many times makes their travel experience uneventful.
They sought out the help of the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who initially declined but due to 20,000 signed petitions by change.org supporters, lent her support. So some still may be wondering, yes this is unfortunate but why is Subaru implicated in this? Much of their global target market is female based and its ironic that a car company that sells cars to primarily to women would be manufacturing cars in a country that doesnt allow women to drive. Through the support of “Saudi women for driving” many females are beginning to be defiant of the ban and drive. But without larger support this could be a dangerous endeavor, and one way to support is by signing the petition which in turn will pu pressure on Subaru to either speak out on the women’s behalf or pull their plants completely out of the country.

So to quote the great Dr. Martin Luther King “An injustice anywhere, is an injustice Everywhere” And personally I feel that its imperative for more people to stand up for things they know are wrong/improper and this is my way of showing support.

Below is the link to sign the petition and also the link to Change.org in order to find out more information about the initiative as well as other causes that need our help…

I Support Saudi Women Driving

Change.org Website

ABC story

Chef Q

lions apron

Due to my hectic schedule and sometimes me just being lazy, I don’t cook often… Now you may be thinking how do you eat then? Unfortunately lately ive been a slave to fast foods and when i want to fake it I warm up processed foods in the microwave. I know I have to do better but it’s just hard, and with me on the flipside of 30 it seems as if the junk in the food sticks to me more than it used to…

Sunday I decided I was going to finally prepare something to eat. For some reason I had been having a craving for Macaroni & Cheese and other than going to “The Chicken Box” soul food restaurant I havent had it often living down here. I REFUSE and ill say it again REFUSE to make that box mac knock off mess. So I decided to call the one person I trust in regards to cooking and recipes, MY MOM… So prior to calling her I just knew she had some grand ol super secretive recipe for making Mac & Cheese… NOOOOO all she says is look on the back of the box, that’s where i get my recipe from… DUH so are you telling me I deprived myself from home made mac & cheese unnecessarily and could have been had this ooohey ghooey cheesey delight. So after reading the directions I decided to make some modifications which included taking away the onions (I LOVE onions but not in MAC & Cheese), not using bread crumbs as topping and substituting regular milk for soy milk. I will be honest that last edit of milk gave it a different taste so ill be using whole milk next time… So as I am prepping to make it I consult another respected outlet TWITTER, to find out how people make their Mac & Cheese. One thing that stood out in regards to variations was the fact that some people used eggs instead of flour as a thickening agent… The recipe called for flour so that’s what I went with. I didn’t want to risk ruining my first time making it trying to be too daring… So i finally got everything together and it looked like how my mom makes hers so i was pretty confident it would be ok…

After letting it cook the allotted 30 minutes and letting it sit to cool, then came the big test HOW DOES IT TASTE… all it took was one bite and I was in heaven. I don’t know if it was more because it was the best i had ever had or i was just so excited that it turned out right. Interesting enough beyond the small amount of a taste, dinner was nowhere near done. And for the rest I had to wait til the next day to begin to prepare

Now I know people are like why couldn’t you prepare the entire meal in one night eat it and be done. Well the meat of my dinner was one of my favorites. Smoked Turkey Necks… Many people use them as a flavor adding agent for their greens but I enjoy them so much I can eat them as a main dish. I ended up having to wait to cook those the next day, because I was fixing them in my crock pot. *sidenote* for all my foodies and dinner makers PLEASE make sure you have a crock pot in your kitchen it is a lifesaver. I decided to slow cook my turkey necks while I was at work. The key to great turkey necks is making sure that you have just enough water in the pot so they don’t dry out but also not OVER-SEASONING (which is one of my biggest fears as a novice chef) With them being in cook mode while at work they had roughly 10 hours to cook and by the time I got home they were fall off the bone tasty.

The last part of the dish was a simple side of green beans that I added ONIONS too (see told you I loved them) But instead of just using the juice from the can I also took some of the juice from the smoke turkey necks to cook them in… talk about the best usage MAAAN it was so on point during the taste test…

Since it was a lot of food I decided to take some to a co-worker of mine, and talk about BIG HATER, the entire time she was eating she kept saying “so who made this for you or tell the girl who cooked this, good job” (as she licked her fingers and cleaned the plate) It was so funny hearing her say this because she swore up and down that I didn’t make it and I can’t cook… It’s always a great feeling proving people wrong

while everyone who reads this wont have the pleasure of tasting it I did take a photo of the leftovers to show you how good it looked. (the mac & cheese had just come out the fridge and is un-warmed)

Letter from a Broke Brother

After reading a couple comments on a homegirl of mine blog blackgirlunlost about a unique online dating website, I decided to pull a letter I wrote in 2008, when I was at one of my low points in life… Very few of my friends and even family knew about my circumstances, due to my ability to always “look” things were fine, but in actuality they werent. So I will leave you with this thought, you never know what a person is dealing with internally even if their “shell” looks in tact…
(sorry for the length lol)

Letter from a Broke Brother…

I don’t know where this is coming from but the spirit of God; a lot of times he touches in my heart things to write, sometimes I listen a lot of times I don’t (due to the inopportune times it drops within) but today I am being as open/transparent and honest as I can be, and in doing so if other guys read and see a part of themselves in it they wont feel as bad in their situation as they once did; and for the females to see that as much as some of us appear to have it together we are trying to overcome a lot. As I sit here I realize I am broke and in debt and really am struggling with finding answers as to how to rectify both circumstances. One thing I will say in this season of struggle one thing I will never sacrifice is my relationship with God.

Growing up I was fortunate to have both parents in my home but there still were lessons that never taught and I think that was due to the fact that they were learning while trying to raise me at the same time. The number one lesson missed was MONEY MANAGEMENT. It wasn’t until I was late in high school and off to college that it clicked for my parents but by then I was in a new world being exposed to debt and temptation. We weren’t poor growing up but I still wasn’t afforded the “luxuries” many think I would have being an only child. I got clothes 2 times a year Christmas and my birthday (back to school)… I remember growing up one Christmas and one of my cousins was being stingy sharing his Nintendo during family dinner, and my parents were like fine we will get you one too, but it wasn’t until my birthday 8 months later that I got my deluxe system. I always appreciated the things they got me (well sometimes LOL) and grew up not even asking for things unless I really needed it.

So once I got to college and had my own money, I lost my mind. My freshman year I had money given to me from graduation, I was working on campus but my crazy butt still found the need to get a credit card. Initially it started off with the thought of, ill use the card but pay it off by the end of the month but things piled up and by the end of the year I accumulated a large amount of debt. So my mother not wanting me to suffer like her and my parental figures did, she took some money she was occasionally sending me, to pay off the bill which in the course of the next year it did. You thought I would have learned NO, I had to go bump my head again this time it was best buy. It was around the time the PS2 had come out and I knew I couldn’t afford it (for whatever reason because I still was working, but I guess clubbing and buying clothes in the summer killed my savings) so I got the store card bought the system and there I went into debt again. This time I was able to pay the card off on my own and saved face.

Even after I graduated from college and moved back home I still was mis-managing my money. I had taken over the car payments for the car given to me by my parents but still should have had enough money to save and still survive but keeping up with the Johnson’s (they lived next door to the Joneses lol) I still found myself wasting money. I called myself helping others financially but never was repaid. Initially I was pissed and it caused major issues and strife between me and that person, but I had to learn if I didn’t have it to give and not expect back, then why did I give it at all. Then came the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. My mom always told me if a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is; but me trying to do my “grown man thing” and make decisions for myself got suckered into a deal where I signed for a vehicle that was supposed to be paid on by someone else, as fate had it they didn’t make the payments and the car was repo’ed. This time I was trying to truly keep up with the Joneses and for those who saw me in the flashy cars this is where that mess was going on.

By this time I had lost my job in Michigan, moved to Charlotte and hadn’t found a job (which took over almost a year to find) maxed out my credit card trying to survive, emptied out my 401k but for some lunatic reason I still was trying to kick it and do things like I had money. All this time God had me and I didn’t know, because during these 4 years of mess I had gotten so far away from Him, that He shouldn’t have even given me a second look. But he blessed me with a roommate that looked out for me while I was down, parents that scolded me for my mishaps but still helped out financially and a renewal of my mind spiritually. It was then I realized I couldn’t do it without Him and finally joined a church.

Now I’d be lying if I say my financial acumen had matured, because it had; I still was wasting money and doing things I KNEW I couldn’t afford. But last night was the breaking point there was a financial empowerment seminar at our church, and the speakers were talking about being more content and sacrificing things now so you can relax later. No I’m not the guy that will tear up the mall anymore buying expensive clothes or accessories, but I still struggle with eating out, or purchasing the little things that add up along the month; but I realize that is no more. It first starts by tithing 10% of everything to God (and for those who don’t agree with that because you don’t want to give money to a “man”, get out of that mindset, if you are joined to a church it is a matter of obedience to His word; and how else do you expect the church to operate/function…) also I am working on paying myself 10% and depositing it into my money market account. The rest is paying bills. And in doing all that if it means I can’t eat out, hang out, or take trips I had planned, so be it… it’s a bigger goal at hand. First getting out of the 35k debt that I’m in from school/CC/other mess then working on accumulating as much savings as I can. Looking at how much I make (under 30k), I still don’t see how I’ve been able to do as much as I have, but its nothing but the grace of God… but I know its in preparation of being able to handle the abundance that He will give me. If I can’t manage the little, how will I manage the “a lot”?

As I say this it pains me to contemplate maybe not being able to go home for Christmas because it is just not in the budget, having to not partake of the things with friends who felt I “had” to be there. And ladies if you think I’m cheap or broke because I can’t take you to dinner or out on the town… truth is I AM (broke that is) but I’m working on fixing that brokenness, but if you can accept that and still want to hang out watching already bought movies, walking around uptown, one of us cooking or us pooling pennies together to share an entrée, then I know you truly are here for me and not what I can buy you.

All this is being said to hopefully wake you up, have you face your own issues and realize something has to change. Even if you have a good job and think you are living comfortably, unless you have an extensive amount of money in the bank (over 10k), could survive more than one month off your savings if you lost your job, you are selling yourself short.

In this time of money crunching it shows us how to be more resourceful, so that once we do come out of it, we don’t carelessly go back to “false balling” or “making it drizzle.” we have to begin to prepare a legacy for our children, even if we don’t have any. If you are single/childless, this is the time to pump up your savings, establish your future children college fund, create enough of a salary for yourself that in a couple of years it wont be as hard leaving that job to follow your passion. And even if you have children it’s not too late, even if it’s a couple dollars here/there save for them, and begin imparting into them the knowledge of saving and wealth building so that they don’t have the pitfalls that we all did growing up… Create an atmosphere where they don’t have to worry about college loans, and the money they’ve accumulated is start-up for a business instead of looking for a job just to make ends meet.

Who are we trying to impress at the end of the day many people over-extend themselves for people they don’t even like or know? Once you make this life thing about God first, then establishing a lasting legacy for the generations, everything else doesn’t matter as much as it used to. Do this for me in the next couple of days, before you make a purchase ask yourself “do you really need this” and “is this promoting growth in my life or the life of others I care about”? If you hesitate in answering or say no, then don’t buy it I guarantee down the line you will reflect on that decision and you will be glad you didn’t purchase the item/service.

And with all this keep God first… for those who feel you can’t talk about money/wealth in the “church” kill that mindset, He created it and designed it for us so why not discuss it. Where else will we discuss it if it’s not in church, the school systems don’t do it, and many are so uninformed that you can’t talk about it at home, so take the knowledge wherever it comes from, even if it’s in the pulpit?

Deut. 8:18 “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.”


Hello world!

Welcome to all who have made their way into my world… I appreciate the time you have taken to check me out… this is a journey going in many directions covering many things from sports to spirituality… If its on my mind Ill speak on it, dont hesitate to comment and even disagree, I insist 😉