Greenwood Cultural Center

About Us

 

Our mission is to preserve African-American heritage and promote positive images of the African-American community by providing educational and cultural experiences; promoting intercultural exchange; and encouraging cultural tourism.


The Greenwood Cultural Center is the keeper of the flame for the Black Wall Street era, the events known as the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, and the astounding resurgence of the Greenwood District in the months and years following the tragedy. Dubbed America's "Black Wall Street" by none other than noted author and educator Booker T. Washington, the 35-block Greenwood District surrounding the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street became a prosperous center for black commerce in the early 1900s. A hotbed for jazz and blues, and the site where Count Basie first encountered big-band jazz, the Greenwood District was the richest African-American neighborhood in North America.


All of that changed on June 1, 1921, when the events known as the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot (to date, still the single deadliest and most destructive act of racial violence and domestic terrorism in United States history) occurred. In less than 48 hours, more than 36 square blocks were burned to the ground, with more than 200 African-Americans murdered, more than 10,000 African-American left homeless, and more than 2,000 business destroyed (including churches, hospitals, grocery stores, and others). Amazingly, and against all odds, the Greenwood District prevailed. Without a single penny from the city, the county, the state, or the federal governments, and with every single insurance claim categorically denied, the District came back stronger than ever. In fact, less than a decade after the destruction, there more over 100 MORE active businesses in the district than there were before.


Today, the Greenwood Historical District showcases its heritage through pictorial exhibits at the Greenwood Cultural Center and the Mabel B. Little Heritage House.  Free guided tours can be scheduled by calling the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation (JHFCR), housed in the Greenwood Cultural Center.  JHFCR can be reached at 918.295.5009.  


To request a speaker for your event or group, contact Mechelle Brown at 918.596.1020. 

Video

Check out this great video

Video

Check out this great video

Our Team

Administration

Frances Jordan-Rakestraw, Executive Director

francesjordan@greenwoodculturalcenter.com            918.596.1025


Mechelle Brown, Program Coordinator & Tour Guide

mechellebrown@greenwoodculturalcenter.com         918.596.1026


Bill White, Diretor of Development

billwhite@greenwoodculturalcenter.com                     918.596.1024


Frances Fleming, Office Assistant

franesfleming@greenwoodculturalcenter.com            918.596.1020