Home to one of Lonely Planet’s “10 historic Black landmarks to visit in the USA” and the first monument on National Geographic’s list of “6 essential American monuments,” Tulsa is one of the nation’s most prominent destinations for Black history and culture. Famously nicknamed Black Wall Street, the district’s unprecedented prosperity in a time when the nation failed to recognize Black people as equals served as a bastion of hope for Black people in America.

The horrific Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 that saw a majority of the district’s blocks razed to the ground and the district’s eventual rise from the ashes against all odds expanded on the area’s complex story of triumph and tragedy. This video by Greenwood Ave., featuring several current Black Wall Street entrepreneurs, explains the history of Black Wall Street. Learn more about Greenwood Ave.

Experience the powerful story and legacy of Black Wall Street in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District by visiting some, or all, of the below stops.

Attractions

 

greenwood cultural center
Greenwood Cultural Center exterior. Photo courtesy of Greenwood Cultural Center.

Greenwood Cultural Center

322 N Greenwood Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120

The Greenwood Cultural Center is a jewel within the historic Greenwood district, formally known as Black Wall Street. This area was destroyed in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre but has been rebuilt in the century that followed. The Greenwood Historical District showcases its heritage through the Greenwood Cultural Center, which offers educational and cultural experiences to visitors.

 

The tower of reconciliation sculpture. Tower of Reconciliation at John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park.

John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park

302-322 N Elgin Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120

Home to the first monument on National Geographic’s list of “Six essential American monuments,” the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park was built in commemoration of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst civic disturbances in American history. Hope Plaza, a 16-foot granite structure with three bronze sculptures, depicts actual pictures from the 1921 massacre. The Tower of Reconciliation at the center of the park is a 25-foot memorial tower that displays the early struggles of the Oklahoma Territory and the lively history of Black Wall Street in Greenwood.

 

Vernon A.M.E. Church
Vernon AME Church exterior. Photo courtesy of Vernon AME Church.

Vernon AME Church

311 N Greenwood Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120

Vernon’s present site was purchased by congregation members in 1908 where they would begin constructing a new home for their community. According to the church history, the church was heavily damaged during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Following the destruction, the congregation grew and rebuilt. The main church building was completed in 1928 and serves as a remarkable demonstration of the perseverance and fortitude of the Greenwood community.

 

Greenwood Rising renderingGreenwood Rising rendering.

Greenwood Rising

10 N Greenwood Ave Suite 2021, Tulsa, OK 74120

Greenwood Rising, a state-of-the-art history center located at the entrance of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, will provide an opportunity for visitors to reflect upon and honor the legacy of Black Wall Street before and after the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.

 

Mt Zion Baptist
Mount Zion Baptist Church exterior.

Mount Zion Baptist Church

419 N Elgin Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120

One of Lonely Planet's 10 historic Black landmarks to visit in the USA, Mount Zion Baptist Church lies in the heart of Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District. The church was destroyed the same year it was dedicated during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre but was rebuilt in 1952 and stands as a testament to the resilience of Tulsa's Black community. The three-story church features late Gothic Revival architecture and is constructed of buff-colored brick veneer over concrete block. The building’s story is one of strength and tenacity and makes it a must-see Tulsa landmark.

 

 

Shops

Silhouette Sneakers & ArtSilhouette Sneakers & Art showroom. Photo courtesy of Silhouette Sneakers & Art.

Silhouette Sneakers & Art

Facing Archer, 10 N Greenwood Ave C, Tulsa, OK 74120

Next door to ONEOK Field, Silhouette Sneakers & Art is a highly curated retail experience that brings limited and authentic sneakers and streetwear to Tulsa. The boutique features an art gallery showcasing a rotating selection of street-inspired art. Silhouette also delivers programming that links sneaker culture enthusiasts and cultivates a new generation of sneakerhead.

 

A black beanie that says Black Wall Street A hat on display at Black Wall Street Tees & Souvenirs. Photo courtesy of Black Wall Street Tees & Souvenirs.

Black Wall Street Tees & Souvenirs

104 N Greenwood Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120

Black Wall Street Tees & Souvenirs warrants a pop-in during your tour of Greenwood. Located in the center of the historic Greenwood district, Black Wall Street Tees & Souvenirs is much more than a place to pick up memorabilia. This shop carries products designed to spark insightful conversations about Greenwood’s complicated history and heritage, housed in a shop with its own unique backstory.

 

Restaurants

Black Wall Street Liquid LoungeBlack Wall Street Liquid Lounge interior. Photo courtesy of Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge.

Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge

10 N Greenwood Ave s101, Tulsa, OK 74120

In between the sights, make sure to stop by Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge for coffee and a sip of local culture. Located in the heart of the Greenwood district, Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge is committed to telling the incredible story of Greenwood and reminding people the community is still standing and striving to make Tulsa a better place. Make sure to stop in for a delicious, fresh-brewed coffee drink and to learn more about Tulsa’s amazing history.

 

Fried Chicken at Wanda J’s Next Generation RestaurantWanda J's fried chicken meal. Photo courtesy of Wanda J's Next Generation Restaurant.

Wanda J’s Next Generation Restaurant

111 N Greenwood Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120

While you’re in Greenwood, Wanda J’s is a must for lunch. Don’t take our word for it, AFAR agrees! This Tulsa staple is the epitome of comfort food and has a long history of celebrating the legacy of local cooking legend, Wanda Jefferson Armstrong. From catfish to cobbler, this Greenwood icon will make you feel right at home, even if you didn’t grow up on authentic Southern fare. Dine in or carry out, Wanda J’s will satisfy your Southern comfort cravings.

 

Frios Gourmet Pops
Frios exterior. Photo courtesy of Frios Gourmet Pops.

Frios Gourmet Pops

105 N Greenwood Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120

Frios Pops are gourmet frozen desserts made from regionally sourced fruits and dairy products. The company offers a wide range of unique flavors including blueberry cheesecake, banana pudding, blueberry lemonade, caramel sea salt, and many more. The pops are sweetened with honey, organic sugar or agave. The flavors revolve around the seasonality of available fruits and produce.

 


 

Looking for more? Explore Tulsa’s Black-owned businesses and learn about the Black Wall Street Legacy Festival (May 28 - June 19, 2021).