These towns and their self-reliant middle class and affluent residents are documented by the home movies of Reverend S. S. Jones, an itinerant minister and businessman.
Stunning and inspiring! Most of us know about Black Wall Wall Street; but there were many towns across America where Black people thrived. Whites didn’t like that, of course, and as we saw with Black Wall Street, these jealous sick freaks stole by demolishing, because they couldn’t handle not being best. It’s hard to be best when they always had others enslaved doing the work for them. But this is a happy post so!
the video footage by clicking here. I can’t embed it sadly. Article associated posted below.
Part three of a four-part series from the film archive of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
By the 1920s, Oklahoma was home to some 50 African-American towns, in addition to a large and prosperous black community living in the city of Tulsa. These towns and their self-reliant middle class and affluent residents are documented by the home movies of Reverend S. S. Jones, an itinerant minister and businessman. Known and respected by the citizens of the towns whose lives he captured on film, Rev. Jones’s work offers revealing glimpses of these communities as a haven for African Americans who very often faced discrimination elsewhere in America.
The subjects are everyday life: a family on the front porch of their bungalow, shop workers at a storefront, farmers plowing their fields, children playing on seesaws in a schoolyard. Much of the material documents the economic life of the towns, from business districts filled with prosperous merchants to the homes of successful professionals, with an abundant countryside beyond.
As Rhea Combs, curator of film and photography for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, points out in her commentary, here we even find a married couple who were oil barons, proof of the extraordinary progress made in the relatively short time since the end of slavery.
The fashions and hairstyles, automobiles and horses, and even such details as a man manually pumping gasoline at a filling station make the films a fascinating record of the lives of Americans, and African Americans in particular, in the early 20th century.
“…white supremacy is upheld by those of us in the professions; those of us who would even decry white supremacy and say I certainly don’t agree with…..BUT DON’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.” – Rev. David Billings (see video)
Older white man speaking out on his new book regarding the issue of white supremacy as he talks to Thom Hartmann. This is an absolute must watch; especially to those of you who are white or light skinned but are so sure you are not upholding racist behavior…conscious or subconscious.
This is wonderful news and I hope to see a lot more of it. I read any and every book I can on Black Wall Street, which jealous whites destroyed, and as of yet I’ve only found one book that describes the beauty of the area, the women dressed like beautiful Queens in jewels and pearls, the beautiful buildings, parks and houses. The book I learned the most from, I believe, was this book I bought from a Black Owned bookstore in Brooklyn years ago. There are many books on Black Wall Street, but the only one to mention the beauty that was Black Wall Street, can be found here.
Despite the adversity faced, I hope the following story and all the businesses grow, and grow, until there are many “Black Wall Streets”- people and places well secured and safe from having any more destruction and loss. Story follows.
A group of neighbors in Northwest D.C. were fed up with what was going on in their building, so they bought it. And part of their inspiration came from 7 ON YOUR SIDE.
ABC7 News reported on conditions at 5751 Colorado Avenue NW in a report seven years ago when tenants told us they had no heat.
The story ended years later not with the landlord cashing in on the building by driving the tenants out, but with the help of the city and the nonprofit, Mi Casa, the tenants were able to get loans to buy out the landlord and renovate the building as a cooperative.
Fourteen of the tenants in the 28-unit building are back in their old units after two years in temporary housing.
On Saturday, they’re going to officially celebrate the reopening and take applications for coop members who want to move into the 14 unoccupied units.
The following is a poem written by a successful husband and father; a lawyer, journalist as well as having the honor to be there when the NAACP was founded, becoming one of the first people to join. A.J. Smitherson is his name, a name -among many others- that should be known to all, yet the history books somehow managed to add this bit of American history. Wonder why. 🙄
Mr. Smitherson did survive the attack on the successful Black community, thankfully, however he lost all he had worked for to jealous bigots who wished they could be him, but knew they couldn’t ever accomplish what was being accomplished in Greenwood. Because of the success of him and many, many other Blacks living there, Mr. Smitherson was but one of a countless number of men and women that lost what they had worked so hard for; their lands, businesses, beautiful homes and so forth, to envious racists, during what is called the Tulsa Riots.
Greenwood, OK, or Black Wall Street, was burned and destroyed by these jealous cowards with no souls. The people behind it were nothing but cruel white losers whom felt envy and fear as well as unjustified hate towards the success in the Black community. Why so many whites feared/fear this I don’t understand and probably never will.
Don’t mistake me; I understand the reasons that are obvious among that sort; they didn’t want to see the Black community thriving. But what I do not understand & never will is why this is an issue that upsets them? Black success is human success; we should be happy anytime a community gets together and creates something better than what was, especially at that time.
One day Black “Wallsteet” will rise again and when it does, I know where all my money will be spent shopping. As a child I dedicated my life to fighting hate and racism and I would fight to the end to see this again. Er, by that I mean; I would fight and die happily to see many and more Black Wall Streets pop up all over America, with no chance of pathetic, jealous creatures ripping it apart or burning it down by mindless morons.
Below is a poem written by Mr. A.J. Smitherson after the riots. What a disgraceful, sick and hate filled world this is.
Whence those sounds in all directions
Firearms cracking everywhere;
Men and women all excited,
Cries of rioting fill the air.
Men with guns and ammunition,
Rushing madly to the fray,
Shooting, cursing, laughing, crying,
“Come on, boys, come on this way!”
“They are trying to lynch our comrade,
Without cause in law defi;
Get your guns and help defend him;
Let’s protect him, win or die.
‘Twas the cry of Negro manhood,
Rallying to the cause of right,
Readying to suppress the lawless,
Anxious for a chance to fight.
So they marched against the mobbists
Gathered now about the jail,
While the sheriff stood there pleading,
Law and order to prevail.
Thus responding to their duty,
Like true soldiers that they were,
Black men face the lawless white men
Under duty’s urgent spur.
Cries of “Let us have the nigger”
“Lynch him, kill him” came the shout,
And at once there came an answer
When a sharp report rang out
“Stand back men, there’ll be no lynching”
Black men cried, and not in fun
Bang! Bang! Bang! three quick shots followed,
And the battle had begun.
In the fusillade that followed,
Four white lynchers kissed the dust,
Many more fell badly wounded,
Victims of their hellish lust.
Quick they fled in all directions,
Panic stricken, filled with fear,
Leaving their intended victim,
As the news spread far and near.
Scattered now in great confusion
Filled with vengeance all anew
Leaders of the lynching party
Planned for something else to do.
“Blacks prevent a Negro’s lynching”
Read a bold newspaper head,
In an extra night edition,
“Fifty Whites reported dead”.
Rallied now with reinforcements
Brave (?) white men five thousand strong
Marched upon the Black defenders
With their usual battle song:
“Get the niggers” was their slogan,
“Kill them, burn them, set the pace.
Let them know that we are white men,
Teach them how to keep their place.
“Forward! March! ! command was given,
And the tread of feet was heard,
Marching on the Colored district,
In protest there came no word.
In the meantime rabid hoodlums
Now turned loose without restraint
Helped themselves to things of value
More than useless to complain.
were taken by the hundreds,
Ammunition all in sight
Reign of murder, theft and plunder
Was the order of the night.
But our boys who learned the lesson
On the blood-stained soil of France,
How to fight on the defensive
Purposed not to take a chance.
Like a flash they came together,
Word was passed along the line:
“No white man must cross the border;
Shoot to kill and shoot in time!”
“Ready, Fire!” and then a volley
From the mob whose skins were white
“Give ’em hell, boys”, cried the leader,
“Soon we’ll put ’em all to flight”.
But they got a warm reception
From black men who had no fear,
Who while fighting they were singing:
“Come on Boys, the Gang’s all here.”
Rapid firing guns were shooting,
Men were falling by the score,
‘Till the white men quite defeated
Sent the word “We want no more.”
Nine p.m. the trouble started,
Two a.m. the thing was done.
And the victory for the black men
Counted almost four to one.
Then the white went into council,
Hoping to reprise their loss,
Planned the massacre that followed,
Dared to win at any cost.
June the First, at five a.m.
Three long whistle blasts were heard,
Giving sign for concert action
To that cold blood-thirsty herd.
At the signal from the whistle
Aeroplanes were seen to fly,
Dropping bombs and high explosives,
Hell was falling from the sky.
On all sides the mob had gathered
I was reading through Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poetry book and wanted to post a poem from him. Finally I decided on this one, though it’s very tragic and very heartbreaking, it also is sadly true. He is a poet that needs be remember more often, and this poem is so powerful because of the content; the content of the poem should make one cry. It did me.
The content is heartbreaking and though now a days there are new methods doing the same tragic thing to innocent men and women…
Truth hurts. And so below is the poem that hit me so hard tonight… It is called ‘The Haunted Oak’ by Mr. Paul Laurence Dunbar: Never Forget!!!
The Haunted Oak
Pray why are you so bare, so bare,
Oh, bough of the old oak-tree;
And why, when I go through the
shade you throw,
Runs a shudder over me?
My leaves were green as the best,
And sap ran free in my veins,
But I saw in the moonlight dim and weird
A guiltless victim’s pain.
I bent me down to hear his sigh;
I shook with his gurgling moan,
And I trembled sore when they
And left him here alone.
They’d charged him with the old,
And set him fast in jail;
Oh why does the dog howl all night long,
And why does the night wind wail?
He prayed his prayer and he swore
And he raised his hand to the sky;
But the beat of hoofs smote on his
And the stead tread drew nigh.
Who is it rides by night, by night,
Over the moonlit road?
And what is the spur that keeps
What is the galling goad?
And now they beat at the prison door,
“Ho, keeper, do not stay!
We are friends of him whom you
And we fain would take him
“From those who ride fast on our
With mind to do him wrong;
They have no care for his innocence,
And the rope they bear is long.”
They have fooled the jailer with
They have fooled the man with
The bolts unbar, the locks are
And the great door open flies.
Now they have taken him from the jail,
And hard and fast they ride,
And the leader laughs low down
in his throat,
As they halt my trunk beside.
Oh, the judge he wore a mask of black,
And the doctor one of white,
And the minister, with his oldest
Was curiously bedight.
Oh, foolish man, why weep you
‘T is but a little space,
And the time will come when these
The mem’ry of your face.
I feel the rope against my bark,
And the weight of him in my grain,
I feel in the throe of his final woe
The touch of my own last pain.
And never more shall leaves come
On a bough that bears the ban;
I am burned with dread, I am
dried and dead,
From the curse of a guiltless man.
And ever the judge rides by, rides by
And goes to hunt the deer,
And ever another rides his soul,In the guise of a mortal fear.
And ever the man he rides me
And never a night stays he;
For I feel his curse as a haunted
On the trunk of a haunted tree.
This is in memory of a 15 year old male named Paul Childs who admired the police, and because of his illnesses, at 15, he was murdered by the police…for no reason other than he had a knife on his own face, in front of his family…
I’ve decided I’m going to start randomly suggesting books I’ve read or am reading that I think others may be interested in or books, like this one, which I feel should be mandatory reading. As horrific as this book is, this book is real, and not only do these souls need to be remembered and respected, we also need to acknowledge that this never stopped; sadly…. To this day, I am sad to say, it still goes on just in a new way. And then white people have the audacity to say others are savages?? What a joke! To add me on goodreads, click here.
This is one of the hardest books I’ve ever read. It’s hard giving it 5 stars, but that is simply because of what we see happened…the book itself, to have compiled all of this, is a must read. While there are amazing things within the African & Black community to focus on, of course this also needs to be focused on not only by non-whites, but if anything, especially by non-whites in hopes they will open their eyes and understand, even a little bit, of the WHY. I have light skin, it doesn’t matter that I’m Spanish, because I look white. It does shame me, and I don’t want white privilege….Yet there are too many whom flaunt their white privilege while denying it. I don’t see how anyone can do that or deny it after reading this book; after seeing what is still going on today, just in a new way.