Opinion

96 years after the 1921 Tulsa Massacre on Black Wall Street & Greenwood, Tulsa has it’s first African American Affairs Commission.

By Darnell Jones

In 1979 the Hispanic Affairs Commission was created. The Indian Affairs Commission was created in 1991 and the Status of Women Commission was created in 1985. Almost 96 years after the Massacre of 1921, Tulsa finally has it’s first African American Affairs Commission.

The African American Affairs Commission (AAAC) will tackle issues that plague African Americans in Tulsa such as education, restoring and preserving our culture, employment, social justice and health just to name a few. The African American Affairs Commission can also select committees to help with these issues.

On Friday, December 15, 2017 the AAAC had it’s first orientation meeting. The Commissioners learned their responsibilities, powers and duties. City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper tearfully thanked those who helped her bring the African American Affairs Commission to fruition.

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The Councilor stated, “I first want to take a few moments and acknowledge a couple of people who helped lead the effort which began well over 2 years ago in the creation of this Commission.  Margaret Love, Representative Regina Goodwin, Mike Reed, Kristi Williams, the man we simply know as Chief, Joyce Williams, School Board Representative Jennettie Marshall, Burlinda Radney, Darlene Hall, Odester Hall, Sherry Laskey and certainly there were others but these are some of the people that labored and struggled from the beginning and I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge them today. “

The Councilor then gave the Commission a call to action with these words, “This commission MUST be PROGRESSIVE AND UNAPOLOGETIC in this struggle. We can’t tackle our issues without being progressive. It is important for me to say that if anyone has a fear of publicly advocating unapologetically for African Americans then this may not be the commission for you. If you are worried about what your place of employment may say or do because you are advocating for African Americans, this may not be the commission for you. I’m going to be honest with you. The African American Affairs Commission would not be in existence today if it wasn’t for the people who bravely protested for over two years in the cold, rain and the heat of summer…and please understand this…if we had to fight that much to get it; we will have to fight as much if not more to be successful. “

Hall-Harper mentioned the book, “The Covenant with Black America” written by Tavis Smiley. The Councilor suggested that the Commissioners should read the book as it lays the groundwork that the Greater Tulsa African American Affairs Commission will be focusing on.

  • Securing the right to healthcare and well-being
  • Establishing a system of Public Education in which all children achieve at high levels
  • Correcting the system of unequal injustice
  • Fostering Accountable Community-Centered Policing
  • Ensuring broad access to adequate and affordable neighborhoods
  • Claiming Democracy
  • Strengthening our rural roots
  • Accessing good jobs, wealth and economic prosperity
  • Assuring environmental justice for all
  • Closing the racial digital divide

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The African American Affair Commission will meet starting at 6PM on the second Tuesday of each month at City Hall. African American citizens throughout Tulsa are highly encouraged to attend.

Here is a video that City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper sent to her constituents.

There are 21 members on the Tulsa’s African American Affairs Commission.

Greenwood Cultural Center Representative William ‘Bill’ White MAYOR 11/01/2017 05/01/2019
Institute for Developing Communities Representative Thomas Boxley MAYOR 11/01/2017 05/01/2019
John Hope Franklin Center Representative DeWayne Dickens MAYOR 11/29/2017 05/01/2019
African American Resource Center Representative Alicia Latimer MAYOR 11/29/2017 05/01/2019
African Ancestral Society Representative Kristi Williams MAYOR 11/01/2017 05/01/2019
Business and Agenda Networking Group (BANG) Representative Burlinda Radney MAYOR 11/01/2017 05/01/2019
Citizens United for a Better Educational System (CUBES) Representative Darryl Bright MAYOR 11/15/2017 05/01/2019
Theatre North Representative Maybelle Wallace MAYOR 11/15/2017 05/01/2019
Tulsa Economic Development Center (TEDC) Representative Cassia Carr MAYOR 11/29/2017 05/01/2019
Seat 1 Gregory Robinson MAYOR 07/26/2017 05/01/2018
Seat 10 Lauren Oldham MAYOR 06/21/2017 05/01/2020
Seat 11 Margaret Love MAYOR 08/11/2017 05/01/2020
Seat 2 Devin Fletcher MAYOR 06/28/2017 05/01/2018
Seat 3 Eddie Evans MAYOR 07/26/2017 05/01/2018
Seat 4 Kuma Roberts MAYOR 07/26/2017 05/01/2019
Seat 5 Kojo Asamoa-Caesar MAYOR 06/28/2017 05/01/2019
Seat 6 Ashley Phillippsen MAYOR 07/13/2017 05/01/2019
Seat 7 Harriette Dudley MAYOR 08/09/2017 05/01/2020
Seat 8 Weldon Tisdale MAYOR 08/11/2017 05/01/2020
Seat 9 Carlisha Williams MAYOR 06/28/2017 05/01/2020

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Categories: Opinion