Amandela Perry stands outside the Black Wall Street Gallery in 90-degree weather displaying her popup protest against Dr. Ricco Wright the gallery’s owner. Written on her signs are “Sexual Assualt: This happened, I was roofied; Give Back The Gallery; Unpaid Wages; Bad Business; Fraud; and a seat with an attachment that reads “Reserved (for) Ricco Wright’s Ego”
Published 07/05/2020 | Reading Time 5 min 21 sec
By BWSTimes Staff
TULSA, Okla. — Outside the Black Wall Street Gallery at the corner of Greenwood Ave. and E. Archer St., Amandela Perry, 32, installed her “Give Back The Gallery” art popup as a protest to Dr. Ricco Wright’s purportedly lousy business practices and lingering sexual assault allegations.
Dr. Wright is the owner of the Black Wall Street Gallery.
Perry said she’s only received one payment from Dr. Wright while working for him as Creative Director. She asserted the one time she was paid was late.
“It was late and that was the only paycheck that I had ever received from the gallery,” Perry said, adding that Dr. Wright owes her over $6,000 for her work.
“We’re talking about two separate businesses. There’s Stradford & Smitherman, which I and Kiandra [Call] and Ricco created. Me and her doing the bulk of the work,” she explained, adding that she’s sent Dr. Wright invoices and made several calls to him about payment owed to her.
Kiandra Call (left); Dr. Ricco Wright (center); and Amandela Perry (right) at Black Wall Street Press Conference on March 5, 2020. Call and Perry no longer work for Dr. Ricco Wright.
Perry described their telephone conversations as brief. “He would say, ‘I’m gonna make this right; I’m gonna do the right thing; I wanna give you guys some money — whatever. Yes, we’ll have that conversation. Yes, you’re right. I wanna have that conversation with you.’ He was acknowledging that then, while also dodging me. But now when he comes out here in front of everybody and on his Facebook Live, he wants to portray that he’s already square with me.”
Wright came out of his business during Perry’s installation-protest, claiming his innocence.
Perry continued, “And he’s not square with me or else, why wouldn’t he respond in regards to my invoices? Why would he block me on all social media? How come every time he called me, he says, ‘I wanna have that conversation and then click,’ we don’t have the conversation? So I’m not out here portraying anything that is wrong or false; I’m out here about justice because there’s more than one case here of injustice that is taking place. It’s not just one thing, and it’s bigger than me.”
On Monday, June 22, 2020, Tulsa artist and educator Laura Voth held a press conference at Wirth Law Offices. Voth gave a graphic account of sexual assault claims allegedly made by Dr. Wright towards her. Voth and her attorney Keith Flinn believe there are more victims.
Wright told multiple news outlets that he was roofied, implying that’s what made him handle Voth inappropriately on a December night in 2018. However, Wright has yet to explain why someone would roofie him.
During Sunday’s demonstration, Wright alleged the only reason Voth and Perry have gone public with their claims was due to Wright running for Tulsa mayor. However, according to FOX 23, Wright announced his decision to drop out of the race amid the sexual allegation charges on Friday, July 3, 2020, two days before Perry’s public protest.
“Throughout that process, since I wasn’t getting paid, I had zero income. At home were my three kids who were begging and begging for my attention. I was busy at work for him. He never tried to compensate or make up for that. I also had to move, and my car broke down right in the middle of the pandemic. I had several factors at play, and I had zero assistance, income-wise, from what was supposed to be a job I was working at,” Perry said.
Less than a year after opening adjacent to the gallery’s current location, between Lefty’s on Greenwood and Silhouette Sneakers & Art, Wright received an eviction notice for nonpayment. According to the Tulsa World, Wright received $14,000 in donation start-up funding from the Greenwood Chamber board members.
Dr. Culver Freeman, the Greenwood Chamber Board President, told the Tulsa World, “This is just a start to doing something we should have done a long time ago, because he was in there for six months and didn’t pay a dime. We’ve invested all we could in his dream and vision, and we’re not getting anything back at all.”
The Black Wall Street Times reached out to Dr. Wright for comment and have yet to receive a response.