Willie Sells owns Tee’s Barbershop on historic Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa Oklahoma.
“They plan to have Stacey Abrams keynote speaker,” Sells stated whereas chopping a buyer’s hair.
He is aware of all concerning the occasions surrounding the Race Bloodbath Centennial Remembrance deliberate in Tulsa.
“It isn’t a celebration,” Sells stated. “It is in reminiscence of my misplaced family members.”
His barbershop is the oldest Black-owned enterprise on the road. He remembers Greenwood Avenue’s renaissance in later years.
“Archer to all the way in which to Pine Black-owned and operated,” Sells stated. “They had been working at the moment within the early ’60s and late ’50s. So, Greenwood was booming.”
That was then. However Sells sees a distinct space now.
“I am simply grateful that we could possibly be right here,” Sells stated. “However I am hoping issues will get higher sooner or later.”
A greater future is what Angela Robinson can also be hoping for.
“I really feel like I am right here for a purpose and for a goal,” Black Wall Avenue Nook Retailer and Extra proprietor Angela Robinson stated.
She and her husband just lately opened Black wall Avenue Nook Retailer and Extra. They’re the latest enterprise on historic Greenwood.
“I wished to have the ability to carry one thing to this space that I felt was lacking,” Robinson stated.
Bringing again financial prosperity is the continued mission of the Historic Greenwood Chamber of Commerce.
“Our mission is to assist present financial growth in the neighborhood,” Historic Greenwood Chamber of Commerce President Freeman Culver stated. “We actually concentrate on small companies. We’re very related and nonetheless vital. If we are able to improve what we’ve got right here and convey extra enterprise, it is simply going to assist the state and the Midwest,” Culver added.
Together with protecting companies within the space, he is working to save lots of these final remaining buildings. He says the chamber has utilized for them to be positioned on the Nationwide Parks Registry of Historic Locations.
“It is vital to save lots of Black Wall Avenue for the way forward for our generations,” Culver stated.
The longer term can also be on the thoughts of Man Troupe. He owns a espresso store on Greenwood Avenue known as Black Wall Avenue Liquid Lounge.
“I do suppose the spirit of Black Wall Avenue, the spirit of entrepreneurs everywhere in the United States, folks of colour, is rising once more,” Troupe stated. “So, what occurred in 1921 taught us a lesson that we are able to stick collectively, work collectively, spend collectively.”
That stronger collectively mentality is precisely what Robinson is offering together with her nook retailer.
“I’ve opened this up in a way to native distributors,” Robinson stated. “Individuals who have a product and haven’t been capable of get it in a retailer or on-line or regardless of the case perhaps they’ve a chance to carry that product right here.”
She sees the potential and is moved by what the way forward for Black Wall Avenue could possibly be as soon as once more.
“It provides me goosebumps,” Robinson stated. “I simply really feel that is our time to make change, to make a distinction, to unify. I simply really feel it is our time.”