“In the early 1900s, the African American business district in Tulsa, Oklahoma was deemed the most prosperous in all America and was commonly referred to as ‘Black Wall Street.’ The many banks, theaters, doctor’s offices, and other African American owned business were a source of pride for African Americans in the community and throughout the nation.
The economic stability of ‘Black Wall Street’ was shattered in May 1921 during one of the worst pogroms in American history when Tulsa became the first city ever to be bombed from the air. Irving Wallace described the wreckage of the black community in an article on March 13, 1993:
‘Whites invaded the black district, burning, looting and killing. To break up the riot, the police commandeered private planes and dropped dynamite. The police arrested more than 4,000 blacks and interned them in three camps. All blacks were forced to carry green ID cards. And when Tulsa was zoned for a new railroad station, the tracks were routed through the black business district, thus destroying it.’
There are numerous articles and publications that discuss this sad chapter of American history and they are well worth reading. The GAP Band, a R&B musical group that hails from Tulsa, has kept the memory of this tragic event live. The letters G, A, and P are the initials of the streets of Greenwood, Archer, and Pine that were in the heart of the black business district destroyed during the ‘Tulsa Race Riot.’” -From, “Survival Strategies For Africans In America” By: Anthony Browder