Black Wall Street

The center of black life in Tulsa in the early 1900s, Greenwood Avenue was dubbed the Black Wall Street.

Captions by Gary Lee

Greenwood Avenue


Present-day Greenwood Avenue, Tulsa. Thriving black-owned businesses lined the streets in the 1910s.

Tulsa Race Riots


After three days of rioting in late May and early June 1921, black Tulsa was in ruins. With approximately 300 dead, the Tulsa riots were the bloodiest massacre to take place in the U.S.

The Court House


The Tulsa Court House, May 30, 1921. With a black youth inside, accused of assaulting a young white girl, an angry mob gathered, preparing to riot.

Reconciling History


John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, dedicated in 2010. Erected at the site of Tulsa's 1921 race riot, the open-air park, centered by the 25-foot-high bronze Tower of Reconciliation, has helped the city reckon with the darkest chapter of its past. Downtown Tulsa is in the backdrop.

Keeping Hope Alive


A bronze sculpture in John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, Tulsa. The handiwork of renowned sculptor Ed Dwight, the figure of Hope depicts the white director of the Tulsa Red Cross holding a black baby after the rioting in Tulsa in June 1921.

Boley's Black History


The town council in Boley, Okla., circa 1910. One of 50 black towns established in the state in the early 1900s, Boley was a hub of commercial activity.

A Civil War Battle


A re-enactment of the Battle of Honey Springs. The July 1863 Civil War clash, involving troops from the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers on the side of the Union, took place near present-day Muskogee, Okla.

Reconciliation Park at Night


A night view of the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, erected at the site of the 1921 race riots in Tulsa.