By Kelly Rogers, Art Desk
A new series of public art installations will commemorate the history of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street. Tulsa won the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Public Art Challenge, a $1 million award to fund installations that honor the legacy of the Greenwood District and reflect on its past. In 1921, Black Wall Street endured a series of violent, racist attacks that resulted in the deaths of more than 100 black residents and left thousands displaced after a mob set fire to the area.
In a report released in 2001 by the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Commission this incident was described as “the [worst] civil disturbance since the Civil War.” The Greenwood District would later be affected by the consequences of gentrification projects, including the construction of a major interstate that split the community.
The Greenwood Art Project, Tulsa mayor G. T. Bynum says, aims to bring people together through meaningful connections and a deepened understanding by elevating the community’s stories through art. “Art compels us to confront truth, and art helps resonate important messages,” he says.