A Saturday afternoon at Black Wall Street Gallery found me speaking with dear old friends and forging new friendships.
Included in the people who came through were patrons and passersby, musicians, artists, writers, photographers, and educators.
As I took the opportune downtime to sit in an historic and inspiring setting and create my own work, I listened to several conversations planning future public and private events in the Greenwood Avenue space dedicated to creating platforms, granting access, and bridging the gap in Tulsa.
In what is considered by some a radical move, the Black Wall Street Gallery invites all of Tulsa to not only grapple with the history of the 1921 race massacre, but also to be inspired by the legacy of the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the original Black Wall Street.
In location, and in spirit, the Black Wall Street Gallery embodies access granted. While there seems to be some parties that are against the idea in principle, the atmosphere created by Dr. Ricco Wright and Briana Cooper practically transcends all the social commentary denoting who owes whom what. The intentional inclusion of people from differing social and ethnic backgrounds has been extended to the first year of exhibitions to form the Conciliation Series.
“…“Conciliation” suggests mediating between parties at odds with one another. It also allows space for acknowledgement, apology, and reparation…”
“The Conciliation Series seeks to generate positive relations primarily between Tulsa’s black and white communities. Our shared history evidences the imperative of working collaboratively toward amicable, productive, and sustainable engagement,” according to the gallery’s social media outlets.
THE CONCILIATION SERIES: curated by artistic director Dr. Ricco Wright
plus fashion designs by Erica Hicks* throughout
* denotes member of Black Moon, a collective of black visual artists in Tulsa
Black Wall Street Gallery, located at 101 N. Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa, is a subsidiary of Black Wall Street Arts, a full-service arts organization also housing Black Wall Street Theatre and more. Black Wall Street Arts (BWSA) is a non-profit organization founded by Ricco Wright in 2018.
The 2018-2019 Black Wall Street Arts Board of Directors include:
Ricco Wright, Chairman; Shawn Crawford, Vice Chairman; Crystal Rene Patrick, Secretary; Briana Cooper, Treasurer; Steve Stephens II; Victoria McArtor; Hannibal B. Johnson; Barbara Thompson; August Calvin Freistedt; Samuel Richards; Kimberly Marsh-MacLeod; Quraysh Ali Lansana; Rebecca Marks-Jimerson; Mike Nicholson; and Michelle Firment Reid
The mission of Black Wall Street Arts (BWSA) is to create platforms, grant access, and bridge the gap in Tulsa. BWSA houses Black Wall Street Gallery, Black Wall Street Theatre, Black Wall Street Visual Arts Agency, Black Wall Street Creative Arts Agency, and The Black Wall Street Education Initiative.
Casey McLerran is the Literary Editor at the Black Wall Street Times. She is a Sooner State transplant from Forest Hills, NY. McLerran arrived in Oklahoma at the age of three shortly after gentrification displaced her and her family out of their home in New York. At first glance, many think they have McLerran figured out. To be frank, she’s a biracial American young woman that unapologetically embraces her half-African identity — a feminist-womanist she is. Her pen operates as her voice as well as her sword. Her accolades include the 2018 Rural Oklahoma Poetry Museum’s Oklahoma Poem Award, a business management degree, and her three beautiful children. Her objective with the Black Wall Street Times is to elevate and amplify the literary art of modern black American culture, pay tribute to African-American literary trailblazers, all while simultaneously linking and introducing children to the world of colorful American writers.