Listen to this article here

It’s so important during this holiday season that we get back to who we are and what we are here to do, which is to love through action.

Sherry Gamble Smith, President of the Black Wall Street Chamber places a winter snowflake atop a Christmas tree at the Old Morton Hospital in the Greenwood District (Black Wall Street)

By BWSTimes Staff 

Published 12/21/2020 | Reading Time 1 min 54 sec 

TULSA, Okla. — Despite a global pandemic that shuttered 40 percent of Black businesses and skyrocketed the Black unemployment rate, community members in America’s original Black Wall Street in the Greenwood District offer hope in the form of Christmas decor just west of the Old Morton Hospital. 

Morton, sitting adjacent to Carver Middle School on Pine and Greenwood, is usually a vacant and dilapidated building that once served the Black community.

Now, Morton is the location of the “Holidays on the Ave: Welcome to Green-Ville!” Christmas display.  This festive display is Greenwood’s version of Dr. Suess’s Whoville in his children’s story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Like magic that only a holiday spirit can bring, community members showed up with paintbrushes, Christmas lights, and seasonal decor, a mural of Green-Ville, a Chrismas train, elf faces where Greenwooders could pose, and a life-size Santa mailbox!

But the real enchantment begins after sunset; that’s when you can see the hundreds of Christmas lights casing the entire western property of the Old Morton Hospital. It’s an excellent taste of joy for such a rough year packed with racial injustice, and over 300,000 American citizens lost to Covid-19.

Kristi Williams, Chair of The Greater African American Affairs Commission, said:

It’s so important during this holiday season that we get back to who we are and what we are here to do, which is to love through action. Among such difficult times in our country and even just after losing my Aunt Julia Teel, Saturday, it did my soul good to help decorate next to the old historic Moton site with my friends. My soul shook with joy as children lit up from the back seat of cars driving by, people honking their horns, and people walking up to us just watching the Black Whoville come to life. This is what Greenwood was about — community! Our ancestors were so proud yesterday, I’m sure of it!

Sherry Gamble-Smith, President of the Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce, said:

As community leaders and members, we are always working to build a stronger and more vibrant community. This year working through the pandemic has made it both challenging and rewarding. It has forced us to teach, learn, and communicate differently. It has even slowed down our busy day to day activities and has opened the door to spend quality time with the people we love.  Welcome to Green-Ville is important because it gives us a chance to bring some holiday cheer to our community during an unfortunate and trying time, where we can turn work into something beautiful and fun with friends, family, and community. 

The Green-Ville holiday display is open to the public now until January 2, 2021. If you’re tired of quarantining in the house, get some fresh air and visit Green-Ville at the Old Morton Hospital in North Tulsa (605 E. Pine St). We guarantee it will warm your spirit and your family this holiday season!

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...