On June 1, 2021 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held Equality of Opportunity In Action: Historical Perspective on Black Wall Street and its Relevance to Business Today. We were joined by award-winning actor, humanitarian and consultant for Heroes of Black Wall Street, Danny Glover, and other business leaders to discuss the legacy of the Black-owned businesses of Tulsa's Greenwood District and pathways to success for today’s Black-owned enterprises.
Early in the twentieth century, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma was the epicenter for African American entrepreneurs. The thriving, dynamic business district, comprised of a 35 square-block area, became known as Black Wall Street. Resentment over black economic success and a racially hostile climate eventually led to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The Greenwood District was burned and the people as well as their businesses, property and dreams vanished.
Against great odds, the Greenwood District’s pioneering entrepreneurs rebuilt the community from the ashes. By 1942, more than 200 black-owned businesses called the Greenwood District home. In subsequent decades, integration, urban renewal, and economic changes sparked a prodigious decline in the Greenwood District. Buoyed by its powerful past, the Greenwood District still lives in its new incarnation of a business, educational, recreational, cultural, and entertainment hub.
- Latricia Boone, Vice President, Equality of Opportunity Initiative, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Adger Cowans, Renowned Photographer, Painter, and Executive Producer, Heroes of Black Wall Street
- Ken L. Harris, Ph.D., President/CEO National Business League
- Danny Glover, Actor and Consultant for Heroes of Black Wall Street
- Robert L. Greene, President and CEO, National Association of Investment Companies
- Antwaun Griffin, Chief of Staff, U.S. Small Business Administration
- Michael S. Neal, President and CEO, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Thomas Quaadman, Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness
- Kim D. Saunders, Co-Managing Director, Legacy Two Advisors
- Tom Sullivan, Vice President, Small Business Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Rick C. Wade, Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Frederick Williams, Screenwriter, Heroes of Black Wall Street