Tulsa City Councilors to vote on resolution for new national monument in the Greenwood District

TULSA, Okla. — Wednesday, Tulsa City Councilors will vote on a resolution to ask for a new national monument in downtown Tulsa’s Greenwood District.

Councilors will debate whether or not to ask the federal government to designate a new monument to commemorate the Historic Greenwood District and Black Wall Street. The resolution would ask U.S. President Joe Biden to use the authority granted under the Antiquities Act to place a permanent marker in the Greenwood District.

Local shop owners and employees are excited at the possibility.

Cyndii Cosper, manager of Black Wall Street T-Shirt and Souvenirs, said it would be good to get some national recognition to the area.

“As long as it doesn’t compromise ownership of the actual historic buildings or the area itself, then that’s fine,” Cosper said. “The more monuments, the better off. Because when people come here, that’s what they want to see they want to see, the statues. They want to see the murals, they want to see the monuments, they want to see all that they can get when they’re here, so I think that would be awesome.”

The Loc Shop owner Regina Woods said it would be an expansion in tourism for the district, and Tulsa as a whole.

“I think it would be great for Tulsa, I think it would be excellent for the historic Greenwood District and Greenwood Avenue,” Woods said. “When you look at tourism, actually the money that it’s bringing in here now, that would just kind of make it even more widely known and I think it’s a great deal for everyone.”

A coalition of organizations are backing this effort. The co-leads are Dr. Tiffany Crutcher from the Terence Crutcher Foundation and Ruben Gant, the executive director at the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation.

“The Historic Greenwood-Black Wall Street National Monument coalition is very excited to see the City Council resolution in support of a national monument to honor the accomplishments of Black Wall Street and the Historic Greenwood District, and to also commemorate the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre,” said Crutcher and Gant. “This would be a step forward in preserving the legacy of this place, and serve as a warning that this moment in history must never be repeated. We look forward to President Biden expeditiously designating the Historic Greenwood-Black Wall Street National Monument.”

District 1 City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper introduced the resolution, asking councilors to support the effort.

“Most importantly, I think it’s going to cement the history and the legacy of Greenwood, what it was, what happens to it and what it is today,” Hall-Harper said.

She said this resolution is a way to ensure the legacy of Greenwood is not erased from society.

“It just asks that it supports the effort to make Greenwood a national monument and that we be cemented in American history, Greenwood be cemented in American history, not just local, but American history,” Hall-Harper said.