x

Black Wall Street Hosts Largest Juneteenth in the Nation

by The Black Wall Street Times
Tulsa Juneteenth

Juneteenth 2021 on Black Wall Street in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

GREENWOOD, Okla. — The Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce, led by president Sherry Gamble-Smith, hosted the nation’s largest celebration commemorating the end of institutional slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865. According to Tulsa Juneteenth organizers, this weekend’s event attracted over 53,500 visitors from around the country. 

“It was good to see so many people from not just Tulsa, but there were people from all across the country: from California, St. Louis, Atlanta. And we had several family reunions come to Tulsa to celebrate this historic event,” Pastor Jamaal Dyer, an event organizer, said. 

Dyer credits the global media attention during the centennial for galvanizing large crowds at Juneteenth. 

Hence, this year’s annual event comes two weeks after the Black Wall Street Legacy Festival, which commemorated the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, a tragic event where a white mob, deputized by the City of Tulsa workers, destroyed homes and businesses in the city’s Black community. Legacy Fest was led by survivors and descendants of the 1921 Race Massacre. 

“With us being on the hills of the commemoration of the [1921 Tulsa Race] massacre, the awareness attributed to people traveling to Tulsa to see Black Wall Street. So I think people were intentional about visiting around Juneteenth because they had already previously heard about our Juneteenth festivals,” he added.

This year, Juneteenth officially became a federally recognized holiday. Last Thursday, President Joe Biden signed the bill into law at the White House. President Biden was accompanied by 94-year-old Opal Lee, who pioneered efforts to make Juneteenth federally recognized for decades.

President Biden explained that Opal Lee experienced the horrors of racism when her childhood home was burned down by a racist White mob. 

The President also mentioned the Tulsa Race Massacre. “By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day and learn from our history, and celebrate progress and grapel not the distance we come, but the distance we have to travel. As I said a few weeks ago, marking the 100 anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, great nations don’t ignore their painful moments – they don’t ignore those moments of the past, they embrace them.” 

Notably, Biden fell short of mentioning H.R. 40, led by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, [D-TX-18], a proposal that commissions a study of the 246 years of institutional slavery in the Colonies and America and seeks to develop a reparations program for the descendants of African people enslaved in America. 

Official Tulsa Juneteenth Photos on the historic Black Wall Street

Ramal Brown KBOB 89.9 & Arbery Shine from 105.3 KJAMZ

Ramal Brown KBOB 89.9 & Arbery Shine from 105.3 KJAMZ | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Omaley B performs “My City’s on Fire” accompanied by Tony Williams | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Dr. View

Motown Records/Black Forum’s Dr. View djing to crowd over 20,000 at Tulsa Juneteenth | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Tulsa Juneteenth

Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

State Rep. Regina Goodwin

Oklahoma State Rep. Regina Goodwin issues citation for Juneteenth 2021 | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr., of the Cherokee Nation apologizes on behalf of his tribe for enslaving people of African descent. | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons

Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, who leads the Justice for Greenwood campaign against the City of Tulsa for reparations of massacre victims and descendants, on stage at Tulsa Juneteenth | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Branjae performing on stage with Omaley B. | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

CAMEO at Tulsa Juneteenth

CAMEO at Tulsa Juneteenth | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Majesty

Majesty from the “Final Four” performing at Tulsa Juneteenth | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Intern Lauren Terry at The Black Wall Street Times vender booth | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

KID ZONE at Mabel B. Little House on Greenwood Ave. | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Black Wall Street Vendor Village  | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Black Wall Street vendor village facing south on Greenwood Ave. | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Historic Greenwood Avenue/Black Wall Street (facing South) Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

Historic Greenwood Avenue/Black Wall Street (facing North); historic Vernon AME Chapel to right | Photo by Christopher Creese, with The Black Wall Street Times

2 comments

Transformation Church gifts over $1 million to Tulsa Race Massacre survivors, nonprofits June 22, 2021 - 4:31 pm

[…] afternoon was the culmination of the nation’s largest Juneteenth celebrations according to its organizers. The weekend’s events attracted over 53,000 visitors from all across […]

Reply
Transformation Church gifts over $1 million to Tulsa Race Massacre survivors, nonprofits - The Black Wall Street Times - Gifts Media June 23, 2021 - 1:27 pm

[…] afternoon was the culmination of the nation’s largest Juneteenth celebrations according to its organizers. The weekend’s events attracted over 53,000 visitors from all across […]

Reply

Leave a Reply

You may also like