More than 100 years since the Black Wall Street massacre, Tulsa is creating a haven for entrepreneurs

February 28, 2024

TULSA — Nestled among rows of colorful shoes lining the walls of Silhouette Sneakers & Art, a framed black-and-white photo reminds owner Venita Cooper of the giants whose shoulders she stands on. Overlaid on that picture is the company name, Grier Shoe Shop, and its address — which is part of an area known as Black Wall Street. It was the business occupying Cooper’s building before it was destroyed during the Tulsa Race Massacre more than a century ago. In the decades between Grier and Silhouette, there have been many waves of Black entrepreneurship in the area, said local advocates. They’ve been particularly enthused by the focus on innovation and technology in the latest renaissance, which was turbocharged after 2020′s racial reckoning galvanized corporate and social interest in uplifting Black Americans. “We’re trying to revitalize the space, build successful businesses down here — and take back what was taken from us,” Cooper said in an interview...

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