Proposal Would Designate Historic Greenwood District A National Monument

Black Wall Street and N Greenwood Avenue  and Archer street signs in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Photo: Susan Vineyard / iStock Editorial / Getty Images

Oklahoma Senator James Lankford and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker have introduced a bill that would designate the Historic Greenwood District of North Tulsa, where the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre took place, as a national monument.

“The Historic Greenwood District/Black Wall Street area in North Tulsa deserves its place among our nation’s significant historic locations. I have worked with my friends in North Tulsa to secure designations on the National Registry of Historic Places and on the Civil Rights Trail. Now, we are one step closer to establishing a national monument,” said Lankford. “Even after the fateful events in 1921, North Tulsa remains a place of light and hope as the community continues to show their strength to overcome adversity and work toward reconciliation, which is something our nation should never forget. I am grateful for the tireless efforts of so many in North Tulsa and in our state to make sure our children today and the generations yet unborn remember those lost, understand the stain of racism, and learn the powerful story of rebuilding and resilience.”

“Over 100 years ago, a violent mob destroyed the thriving Black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our history,” said Booker. “When I visited Tulsa in 2019, I felt pain and anguish for the hundreds of unarmed men, women, and children who were murdered, the more than 1,250 homes that burned, and for the thousands of victims who survived this act of hatred. Even the darkest chapters of American history deserve to be told. It’s imperative that we act now to ensure that future generations remember Greenwood’s heartbreaking history and its legacy of unrelenting resilience. Establishing a national monument here will forever enshrine this community’s legacy of sorrow, strength, and hope into the fabric of America’s story.”

If the bill goes through, the area would garner the same protections as national parks and monuments.

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