To preserve and promote the proud history and future of the African American community and the historic Greenwood District.
We envision Tulsa as a community that celebrates and promotes the extraordinary heritage, history and legacy of African Americans and the Greenwood District and is a model of multiculturalism at its best.
GCC’s primary customers are people interested in the history, culture, and future of the Greenwood District, its survivors, and descendants.
On behalf of its primary customers, GCC seeks the preservation, advancement and availability of Greenwood’s history, culture, and citizens because of a lack of exposure to historical knowledge about the vibrant Black Wall Street and the 1921 Race Massacre and the resulting contemporary impact.
GCC seeks to fulfill its mission because Greenwood’s culture, history and people have been systemically marginalized and there is a need for an organization that will ensure it does not continue and the history is not lost."
If GCC does not fulfill its mission, our youth and future generations will continue to be deprived of the rich history of the African American community. A history that reflects the ingenuity, courage, strength, resilience, and successes of African Americans.
GCC is differentiated by its unique history of being a community-based organization built by the Black community, for the Black community with city and state support.
Greenwood Cultural Center's Story
Dubbed America's "Black Wall Street" by none other than noted author and educator Booker T. Washington, the 35-block Greenwood District surrounding the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street became a prosperous center for black commerce in the early 1900s. A hotbed for jazz and blues, and the site where Count Basie first encountered big-band jazz, the Greenwood District was the richest African-American neighborhood in North America.
All of that changed on May 31 to June 1, 1921, when the events known as the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre (to date, still the single deadliest and most destructive act of racial violence and domestic terrorism in United States history) occurred. In less than 48 hours, more than 36 square blocks were burned to the ground, with more than 300 African-Americans murdered, more than 10,000 African-American left homeless, and more than 2,000 business destroyed (including churches, hospitals, grocery stores, and others). Amazingly, and against all odds, the Greenwood District prevailed. Without a single penny from the city, the county, the state, or the federal governments, and with every single insurance claim categorically denied, the District came back stronger than ever. In fact, less than a decade after the destruction, there were more than 100 active businesses in the district than before.
Today, the Greenwood Historical District showcases its heritage through pictorial exhibits at the Greenwood Cultural Center.