Dozens of people throng Atlanta Suburb to witness the grand opening of the new Black Wall Street market which is located in Stonecrest, 16 miles east of Atlanta. According to reports, 10,675 people were present at the grand opening of the center.
Videos from the opening ceremony featured shops which displayed African artworks, pictures, jewelry, clothing, books written by African authors and other beautiful items that depict black history. Attendants and shop owners took turns to express their joy of seeing the reopening of such a facility which occupies a very important space in the history of black people.
A shop owner identified as Ross said, “it’s amazing, I have family that came all the way from St. Louis to come see my store and get the experience of the Black Wall Street Market. It can be a new tourist spot for the city.” Another called Charis said “My customers and the people that frequent my business are 90-something percent Black so why not be in a market for my people, by my people.” An attendant who came from far said “I Came from Memphis Just for This.”
Recall that, 100 years ago, the original Black Wall Street which was located in Green Wood District, Tulsa-Oklahoma, a very successful black business community was looted and burnt down by white mobs on the 21st of June, 1921.
Apart from losing their businesses, the chaotic situation saw the burning of major facilities such as homes, churches, schools, hotels, Libraries among others in a bid to cripple the community. The rampage also resulted in the death of many black people with others sustaining injuries of various degrees. The black economy suffered a major blow since this occurrence.
Describing the situation back in the days, In May 2021, one of the oldest survivors of the massacre, 107-year-old Viola Fletcher told congress that, “on May 31, of ‘21, I went to bed in my family’s home in Greenwood. The neighborhood I fell asleep in that night was rich, not just in terms of wealth, but in culture…and heritage. My family had a beautiful home. We had great neighbors. I had friends to play with. I felt safe. I had everything a child could need. I had a bright future.”
According to her, she woke up to a different world altogether. “I still see Black men being shot, Black bodies lying in the street. I still smell smoke and see fire. I still see Black businesses being burned. I still hear airplanes flying overhead. I hear the screams.” She told congress in May 2021.
Since the incident occurred, there have been several calls with efforts mobilized to rebuild the black-owned business community which is a reality today. Despite the fact that, the current structure lacks capacity as what was destroyed 100 years ago, especially the cultural connection, the huge number of people in attendance show how significant it is.