Several exhibits in Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District aim to connect the public to an integral part of the city’s past.
The Black Wall Street Alliance is welcoming guests to the “Faces of Greenwood Timeline Experience” during the next several weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Faces of Greenwood Timeline Experience allows people to travel back in time down a hallway of history.
Walking through these exhibits can be a lot to take in, but Black Wall Street Alliance curator Lincoln Cochran said that can be a good thing because it means the work is working and moving people.
Guests can enter the hall at the corner of Greenwood and Archer. The timeline is an immersive experience, which starts in 1890 and the beginning of Black Wall Street. It requires looking to your left and to your right.
Lincoln Cochran is the Curator for the Black Wall Street Alliance. He points out,
"Here in 1903,” Cochran points out. “This is one of the first sand born maps of the area in Tulsa."
The space is wallpapered with photos, documents and advertisements.
"Some of it is not appropriate, some of it is shocking and some of it is really quite terrible,” Cochran said. “But it's important for people to see."
You will even find representations of prominent figures like Madam C.J. Walker.
"She expanded her business into Black Wall Street in 1906," Cochran said.
The story unfolds in predictable and unexpected ways.
“With the coming of the dawn this morning, following a night of race rioting and death, hundreds of white men in motorcars formed a circle of steal around quote 'Little Africa’," Cochran read aloud from a newspaper article.
Cochran said Greenwood revived itself quickly. Two-story buildings were rebuilt into three-story buildings without any insurance payments in less than a year.
"That just gives an idea of the wealth that was here," Cochran said.
The timeline shows the evolution of Black culture. The hallway highlights the civil rights movement and addresses urban renewal.
Where the timeline ends in 2020, Phase 2 of the exhibit begins. Black Wall Street Alliance joined with the University of Tulsa to release 120 photos of Greenwood that were once used for research only.
Cochran said this might be the part people need to see most.
“Pictures of our people in perpetuity looking successful. Looking happy. Looking healthy. If you look at their faces, they look like everyday people," Cochran said.
The newest addition, the Living Arts Walkup Gallery featuring the Oklahoma Collection, is set to open June 4.
Cochran said if guests just mention News On 6 then he will let them view it early.
If you want to select a date to view the experience, click here.