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GREENWOOD Dist.–Underneath the stretch of highway dividing Historic Greenwood District, hundreds of motorcycle riders from around the nation came together for the annual Black Wall Street Rally on Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13.
From Philly to Houston and everywhere in between, a community of Black bikers danced on sacred streets to the sound of humming engines in a concrete sea of vibrant, decked-out motorcycles.
Sharonda Tatum rode all the way from Fort Liberty, North Carolina, to the streets of North Tulsa. She learned about the brilliance of America’s Black Wall Street and the bombing by a white mob, not from school, but through viewing HBO’s “The Watchmen.”
“That peaked my interest, and a couple of my other friends who are bikers, they came last year when they had the event. So, I was like, why not,” Tatum told The Black Wall Street Times.
Nothing but peace and love at Black Wall Street Rally
Organized to create an opportunity for bikers around the nation to explore the historic sites in Greenwood District, the Black Wall Street Rally boasted live music, headliners, vendor booths, line-dancing and more.
The police presence at the rally was nearly nonexistent, with no signs of any altercations or ill-will. The rally embodied the past and future of what the ancestors of Greenwood had already proved was possible: Black people coming together to build something bigger than themselves.
“I came down here to have fun. I love being with my Black folks and I love riding,” a 76-year-old rider from Houston told The Black Wall Street Times.
“We supposed to get along anyway. Everybody: White, Black, we supposed to get along,” he said.
Black Wall Street Rally is for the culture
Fraternities and sororities of the Divine 9, soul food trucks, swag, and alternative foods were just some of the different types of vendors and organizations at the rally.
The Black Wall Street Times caught up with a vendor who runs Froot Kaves, a Dallas-based business that sells healthy lemonade and sea-moss gels and soaps.
“First of all, it’s a kid-owned business,” Rooted Tree told The Black Wall Street Times. He and his family came to the rally from Dallas. “My kids had a vision. I took all my resources, all my money, I put it into their business.” he said.
“Everything that we sell is gone help the body, and not hurt the body. The lemonades are made with alkaline water, fresh squeezed lemon, agave and organic fruit,” the CFO said.
Tragedy on a night of triumph
Despite the colorful array of people and motorcycles filling the block, a community that’s no stranger to tragedy experienced loss that same weekend.
Tulsa Police Department said a woman died Friday night after falling off the back of a motorcycle, FOX 23 reported. The accident, which occurred just two miles north of Black Wall Street on N. Pine and Utica, was likely caused by the rain.
Witnesses who spoke to police say as soon as it began to rain a woman who was riding as a rear passenger fell off the bike and hit her head. Police say the man driving the motorcycle stayed with the woman until paramedics arrived. Yet he left before police could question him.
Nevertheless, 102 years after the first destruction of the most prosperous Black community in the nation, bikers from around the nation paid their respect to the hallowed ground.