Africatown-Central District lifts up over 100 black-owned businesses in remembrance of Tulsa Race Massacre

More than 150 Black-owned businesses set up booths and tents for a street sale in Seattle's Central District on Monday.

The event was focused on empowering and investing in the black community as a way to honor the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

"This is the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Massacre," said Bianca Davis-Lovelace. "It’s an honor to be able to open this business and honor our ancestors who have fought all these years for economic empowerment."

Davis-Lovelace and her family run Chi Divas Custom Apparel, which has a 90s nostalgia theme to its clothing. The family business is based out of Renton.

"The goal was to create a safe space, a safe haven, for Black folks to spend a dollar and keep it within our community," said Jason Beverly with Africatown Building Black Wealth.

Event organizers said lifting up Black business owners was their way to remember the Greenwood District of Tulsa, which was often referred to as the Black Wall Street. It was a community built by Black people for Black people that was flourishing.

However, on May 31, 1921, a mob of white people burned down hundreds of homes and businesses over the course of 18 hours. An estimated 300 people were murdered and the neighborhood never recovered. 

RELATED: ‘A day of remembrance’: President Biden issues proclamation 100 years after Tulsa Race Massacre

"There were banks, there were theaters, there were hotels all within our community," said Beverly. "This is honoring that and hopefully instilling in us that courage to start this up again for the Black community."

"If those communities had not been destroyed 100 years ago, there would’ve been a lot of generational wealth for what they call a lot of foundational Black Americans out here," said business owner Jaron Johnson.

Beverly said Africatown-Central District plans on holding educational events in the future focused on building black wealth.

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