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Since its opening, Greenwood Rising has been attracting visitors from all over the country to visit Tulsa’s Greenwood District. Here at The Black Wall Street Times we talk to people all the time who have recently heard about Greenwood’s history and have come to visit to see it in person. It’s no surprise that Greenwood Rising made USA Today’s “10 Best New Attractions” list for 2021.
The museum officially opened its doors on August 4, 2021 to the public. The new history center captures the entrepreneurial spirit of Black Wall Street’s founders pre-statehood, with rooms dedicated to those pioneering Black businesses such as: Latimer’s BBQ, Williams Dreamland Theatre, and Stradford Hotel.
Winding walkways take visitors on a tour of the roots of Greenwood as markers tell the story of Oklahoma’s Black history. Juxtaposed next to the gleaming success of Greenwood’s founders, the story of the Massacre doesn’t shy away from the most heinous details from May 31, 1921 and June 1, 1921, when a mob of jealous White men, enraged over their failed attempt to lynch 19-year-old Dick Rowland, burned, bombed and ransacked 35 square blocks of the booming Black community.
“A place to come home to”
Moreover, Greenwood Rising hosted a dedication ceremony on June 2 with the three remaining survivors of the massacre present.
Viola “Mother” Fletcher (107), Leslie Benningfield Randle (107), and “Uncle” Hughes Van Ellis (100), are the three remaining survivors from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. They were the first to walk through the history center after its dedication.
“To have a place to come home to, to look at what was, to be obviously angry about what was destroyed and not passed down to them, but then to also be happy that there is something here to say ‘this place was here. And my family, and my family name will no longer be an erased part of history’,” said Greenwood Rising Executive Director Phil Armstrong.
When descendants thanked Armstrong for the new facility through tears of pain and joy that their lives and the lives of their loved ones were finally being recognized, Armstrong said he knew they had done it right.
To provide accessibility to all, admission to Greenwood Rising is free for the first year of operation. To see hours of operation and reserve tickets, click the link below.