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Ninety-Seven years later, that neighborhood is still recognized as one of the most prosperous African American towns to date.

With hundreds of successful black-owned businesses lining Greenwood Avenue, it became a standard that African Americans are still trying to rebuild.

There he also built a colored school and an African Methodist Episcopal Church.

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OW and JB both became rich as the oil industry boomed on in Tulsa and hundreds of African Americans emigrated to Greenwood.

In 1914, the local black newspaper, the Muskogee Scimitar, reported Gurley’s net worth to be as much as $150,000 ($3.6 million).

OW was a subscriber to the philosophies of Booker T. They subdivided the plots they owned in uptown Tulsa on the north side of a set of railroad tracks into housing and retail lots, alleys and streets that they made available only to other African Americans fleeing the lynchings and terror of the South for the economic opportunity of Tulsa’s oil boom.

Washington, while JB was a follower of the more radical W. On a long street near the train tracks made of dry dirt and dust Gurley built boardinghouses in square two- story brick structures near his grocery store, naming the street Greenwood Avenue, after the town in Mississippi from which many of his first residents hailed.

A second school, a newspaper, a Baptist church, and a hardware store were also built.

Gurley and Stradford’s vision of an all- black district was taking shape.

Law enforcement officials used airplanes to drop firebombs on buildings, homes, and fleeing families, stating they were protecting against a “Negro uprising.

The massacre was omitted from state and local records, and “rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms, or even in private.” 300 to 3000 Deaths , 10,000 Homeless, 6000 New Afrikan Arrested, 600 Businesses Destroyed. Gurley took notice of the oil boom in Tulsa from his home in Perry, Oklahoma, at the turn of the century.

Stradford was tall and sinewy, with a prominent square jaw and piercing black eyes.

Both men, with their families’ roots in enslavement, shared a distrust of white people and went by their initials, OW and JB respectively, instead of their first names.

Alongside the professional businesses were juke joints, saloons, and gambling houses.

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