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As folks learn about #BlackWallStreet, they should also learn that the final nail in the coffin was a far more banal form of racism and white supremacy... The highway.
After rebounding from such a racist massacre, the district would be cut in half by a noisy, polluting highway. Thousands of white commuters have benefitted from the pain this neighborhood suffered. In addition to reparations paid to descendants, OK should remove or deck the road.
As others, pointed out, it wasn't just the highway, "Urban Renewal" is to blame too. @cityoftulsagov leveled buildings for a new school. You can see just how densely settled the area was. @osutulsa sits where Booker T Washington was. #BlackWallStreet
While university opened in 1986 long after desegregation, the buildings weren't contextual, nothing was done to save old buildings, and it was surrounded by a sea of parking. It was clear that this was not designed for Greenwood residents.
It's heartbreaking to think of how poorly the City of Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma have tried to constantly stamp out this area. The memorial, while nice is embarrassingly late, and isn't sufficient. (…)
If Mayor @GTBynum wants to make his exploration of what happened at Greenwood more than a vanity project to raise his profile and get in WaPo, the city needs to cough up reparations. Both to victim's families, property owners, and black residents in general.
When #BlackWallStreet was bulldozed for the highway, residents were displaced and scattered. Those with means often left North Tulsa. Those who couldn't were forced into auto-centric apartments. The area could no longer support the basic amenities.
After many abortive attempts the area is finally getting a grocer. Many food deserts in black communities are directly related to urban renewal, slum clearance, or highway projects destroying main streets and/or displacing customers.
Restorative justice is going to take 1. real physical changes- removing highways 2. real money- appropriate payment for land takings and redlining short sells 3. real investment- significant capital and staff resources to make up for years of tax theft from BLK ppl where
we paid equal taxes for unequal services. We don't need city sponsored mural (unless it's a sustained program) and don't need empty speeches. Give us what we're owed.
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