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Why West Wall Street?
Economic Justice is one of several areas of focus at Friendship-West. We work to ensure economic institutions are designed based on moral principles that allow individuals to participate in financial markets in a just fashion, earn a living wage, engage in a fair exchange of goods and services,enter contacts, and pursue entrepreneurship. One of our programmatic activities is West Wall Street.
We believe in cooperative economics. In many instances, the under-served communities throughout the United States lack certain businesses and services that are normally found in the more affluent areas of cities. Since this is the case, we believe that there is a need for businesses to work together and share resources much like the African Nations and civilizations did prior to slavery. Following this tradition, we would hope to build up our businesses and network.
We are carrying the torch of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK. In the early 1900s in the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa was one of the wealthiest Black communities in the 20th century. The area was thriving with 600 Black businesses, its own bank and hospital, 20+ restaurants and more. We hope to establish a community in the southern sector of DFW that experiences economic growth and stability for all businesses.
The movement is biblically sound. In biblical days everything took place around the Temple. The Temple was essentially the center of community life. We are trying to recreate that in the 21st century. In doing this we must recognize that Jesus didn’t turn the tables over because they were selling. Jesus turned over the tables because of unjust financial practices (ex. payday loan, charging excessive interests, etc.).
6 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Black Wall Street’
Published December 2, 2014 | by Christina Montford | ATLANTA BLACKSTAR
The Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, housed one of the most successful Black economies in American history. The area is, now, commonly referred to as “The Black Wall Street.” Most of the businesses and homes were burned down in the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.
Money Stayed Inside the Community The dollar circulated 36 to 100 times in this tight-knit community, according to sfbayview.com. A single dollar might have stayed in Tulsa for almost a year before leaving the Black community. Comparatively in modern times, a dollar can circulate in Asian communities for a month, Jewish communities for 20 days and white communities for 17, but it leaves the modern-day Black community in six hours, according to reports from the NAACP.
People in Tulsa Were Leading in Luxury Possessions In a time when the entire state of Oklahoma had only two airports, six Black families owned their own planes. The average income for a Black family was well over what minimum wage is today. Dr. Simon Berry, who owned the bus system in Tulsa, recalls that in 1910 his average income was around $500 a day, according to reports from sfbayview.com.
The Body Count of the Tulsa Race Riot When the community was burned down in the Tulsa Race Riot, over 800 people were admitted to surrounding hospitals, an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, 35 city blocks housing 1,256 residences were destroyed, and 600 successful businesses were lost, including 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores, two movie theaters and a hospital. The Ku Klux Klan-led riot lasted for over 16 hours.
Desegregation Killed the Resurgence of Black Wall Street In the initial years after the riot, surviving residents began to rebuild the once-vibrant city. It thrived again until the desegregation of the 1950s and ’60s began to entice the Black people of the time to live elsewhere, causing Black Wall Street to never again be what it once was.
The Creation of Black Wall Street Was Intentional In 1906, O.W. Gurley, a wealthy African-American from Arkansas, moved to Tulsa and purchased over 40 acres of land that he made sure was only sold to other African-Americans. Gurley also used the area to give refuge to African-Americans running from the harsh oppression of Mississippi.