12:15 PM Welcome
12:30 PM Fire in Little Africa: Community, Hip-Hop, and Activism
Fire in Little Africa is a multimedia hip-hop project inspired by Black Wall Street with an album set for release May 28, 2021 on the iconic Motown/Black Forum record label, in addition to a documentary, podcast and educational curriculum.
This panel features Fire in Little Africa executive producers and artists in conversation about the project, with emphasis on the intersection of hip-hop and activism and the powerful medium of music to fuel a movement for equity and justice.
1:30 PM Who Controls the Narrative?
Since 1619, white media has principally shaped the narratives of Black Americans, usually casting them in a negative light. In 1827, however, Black Americans began shaping their own accounts of their experiences when Cornish & Russwurm founded the Freedom’s Journal. But, White media remained the dominant and influential authority in America -- and in many ways, still are. For example, yellow journalism provoked a white mob to target Blacks living in the Greenwood District, leading to the worst racial violence against Black Americans in U.S. history during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Whites blamed A.J. Smitherman, the founder, and owner of the Tulsa Star newspaper, who accused him of stirring up the Blacks to attack Whites, which was unfounded. Which brings us to today’s topic: Who Controls the Narrative?
3:00 PM Reimagining Black Wall Street
For generations, Black entrepreneurs in the Greenwood community have worked to revive Black Wall Street and heal the historically Black district. One hundred years after the 1921 massacre, these businesses are rising, but now they face another challenge: a whitewashing or erasure on their own land. Black entrepreneurs find themselves facing the threat of erasure again as they are “shut out of Greenwood’s most prestigious development projects and priced out of prime retail locations.” [Washington Post]
A century after the destruction of Greenwood’s Black Wall Street, what does a new generation of Black entrepreneurship look like? In this panel, we will explore the reemergence of Black Wall Street, the unique challenges Black entrepreneurs face competing with state developmental projects and funding that threaten to erase them, and how Black businesses in this historic area are stepping into the 21st century and pivoting their businesses to survive in a global marketplace.
4:00 PM Descended from The Promise Land: Healing and Transformation after Generational Trauma
Centering the forthcoming documentary, Descended from The Promised Land: The Legacy of Black Wall Street, this panel will feature descendants of the Tulsa Race Massacre’s survivors as they discuss the lingering impacts of the destruction of Black Wall Street, the urgent need for healing, and a path forward for the Greenwood District in Tulsa.
Descended from The Promised Land: The Legacy of Black Wall Street
One hundred years after the notorious massacre in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, aka Black Wall Street, this short film draws a century-long thread from 1921 to 2021, revealing the lingering economic, psychological and emotional impacts of the Tulsa Massacre through the lens of descendants. Our descendants, Byron Crenshaw and Jacqueline Blocker, represent families that exemplified success in Greenwood before the massacre. Through intimate interviews and lyrical verite, Byron, Jacqueline and their family members reach back to uplift the stories of their ancestors, the success they created, the promise they fulfilled, the horrors they endured and the resilience they showed. Invoking the deep entrepreneurial spirit of those who created one of the greatest Black communities this country has ever known, Byron and Jacqueline imagine a path forward to recapture the Black joy that once permeated Tulsa’s Black Wall Street.
4:50 PM Closing