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The Black Wall Street Legacy Festival was born out of necessity. For decades, the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre was known by very few people, even to its citizens where the massacre took place.
The inaugural festival was held in 2021 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Now, three years later, the event is holding strong and people are more aware of the devastating events that took place in 1921.
This year’s festival hosted several events over a six-day period: a press conference with Viola Ford Fletcher, also known as “Mother Fletcher” and the oldest living survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre, conversation about economic development, a book signing and performance by gospel artist Kierra Sheard, and more.
One of the main attractions each year is the Black Wall Street Block Party on Greenwood Avenue where festival goers can walk the strip, enjoy food trucks, purchase merchandise from Black-owned businesses and experience vibrant live music performances.
Grammy award winning artists Club Nouveau and saxophonist Gerald Albright graced the stage with exuberant performances that had the sea of people vibin’ to the feel of Greenwood.
Albright’s performance of Franky Beverly and Maze’s “Before I Let Go” brought the crowd to their feet, electric sliding and bugalooing. Club Nouveau performed their classic hits that took some people back to their hay day while also introducing themselves to a younger generation.
Both headliners were honored to perform, and both acknowledged the negative impact the Tulsa Race Massacre had on the Black community, while also highlighting the resilience of said community.
“The fact that the resilience of Black folks, the resilience of the people in your city, the fact that a lesser people would have been decimated, but not us.” Jay King, lead singer of Club Nouveau said. “The fact that the justice that hasn’t been done that’s going to be done because you all aren’t going to let it rest, that debts going to be paid.”
Albright, who hasn’t performed in Tulsa in 18 years, thoughts were similar to King’s comments.
“I know that the massacre was a catastrophe, man, I know. We can always rebuild, and I’m thinking positively about our race and the success of our race. So, it’s all good.” Albright said.
To learn more about the Black Wall Street Legacy Festival visit the website at www.blackwallstreetlegacyfest.com.