The best description of the historic Black Wall Street
, or Little Africa
as it was also known, would be liken to a mini-Beverly Hills for Black folks someone once said. It was the golden door of the Black community during the early 1900s in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and proved that Black Americans had successful infrastructure. That’s the encapsulation of what Black Wall Street was all about.
The dollar circulated 36 to 100 times within its community, sometimes taking a year for currency to leave. Today, a dollar leaves the Black community within 15-minutes on average. As for resources, there were Black Ph.Ds, attorneys, doctors and bankers residing in Little Africa. One doctor was Dr. Berry who owned the bus system. His average income was $500 a day, a hefty income in 1910.
During that era, physicians owned medical schools. There were also pawn shops, brothels, jewelry stores, 21 churches, 21 restaurants and two movie theaters. It was a time when the entire state of Oklahoma had only two airports, yet six Blacks owned their own planes. It was a very fascinating community.
The area encompassed over 600 businesses and 36 square blocks with a population of 15,000 Black residents. And when the lower-economic Europeans looked over and saw what the Black community created, many of them were jealous. When the average student went to school on Black Wall Street, he wore a suit and tie because of the morals and respect they were taught at a young age.
The mainstay of the community was to educate every child. The main thoroughfare was Greenwood Avenue, and it was intersected by Archer and Pine Streets. From the first letters in each of those three names, you get G.A.P., which is where the renowned R&B music group of the ’90s, The Gap Band, got its name. They were from Tulsa.That was then. This is now.
All of that is fine and dandy. But look where we are as a community now. Too often we hear today’s Blacks brag about what happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma 100s of miles away — while we’re in Houston. Success that occurred in the 1920s — while living in 2013 … nearly 100 years ago. If we have to lean on something that far out of reach, we have a lot of ground to make up. Which is why we founded Black Wall Street Now
— the basis of the Black American Stock Exchange
Today, the black community-at-large is interspersed throughout metropolitan areas all across the country. Houston Black Book exists to be a thoroughfare in which our unabridged networking power is quite literally at our fingertips. HBB represents a stage in progression in which economic efficacy is inevitable. Not to be undermined or misrepresented, HBB is a binding force to thousands of like-minded respectable individuals and organizations that are capable of providing your day-to-day and business needs.
Download the directory and use it daily. We can recirculate our dollars and once again strengthen our economic powerbase … we’ve done it before, we can do it again. No government assistance requirement.