Although Oklahoma came into statehood in 1907 and was never a slave state, it was geographically and culturally a Southern state. When I was a boy growing up in the small Oklahoma town of Wagoner in the 1940's and 50's racial segregation was the norm. I remember white and colored drinking fountains and waiting rooms at the train station, and attended an all white school system. The blacks in our town had their own school in "their" part of town. As a kid I felt no animosity towards black people, i just accepted the separation as normal. I was not to know a black person my own age until I was in college in the early 1960s.
In June, 1921 the area was the site of the worst race riot in the history of the United States. Many people prefer not to know this particular part of Tulsa's history. It is probably our darkest chapter.
The financial prosperity of this area has never fully recovered. If you are interested in knowing more please see the excellent Wikepedia article HERE.
I found this old photo and another interesting article. Look HERE.
Looking North on Greenwood Ave from Archer Street just north of the old part of downtown Tulsa. Click to enlarge panorama.
Greenwood is a neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As one of the most successful and wealthiest African American communities in the United Stated during the early 20th Century, it was popularly known as America's "Black Wall Street" until the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The riot was one of the most devastating race riots in history and it destroyed the once thriving Greenwood community. Greenwood is still being rebuilt today because of the destruction over 80 years ago.