Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The necessity of a "Black Wall Street"

The vision of a district consisting of mostly black-owned businesses similar to what once existed in Tulsa, Oklahoma before a race riot destroyed it in the 1920s.
Black Wall Street was created to sustain and strengthen Black businesses in the Black community and in other communities through economic development. To this end, the State of Illinois House of Representatives and Senate recognized the potential to recreate on Stony Island Avenue and 75th Streets east of the Dan Ryan Expressway, the positive aspects of the historic Black Wall Street in Tulsa, by issuing resolutions proclaiming the areas Black Wall Street Chicago Districts. “It’s important for Black businesses to support each other. It’s important that Stony Island businesses support each other and keep black dollars in the Black community,” says Angela Williams, executive director of the South East Chamber of Commerce.

The mission of Black Wall Street District Chicago is to enhance and strengthen Illinois’ premiere African American spiritual arts and commerce district through on going promotion, advocacy, business development, and community relations; to make the Black Wall Street District a vital clean safe and attractive business district for the enjoyment of members and visitors and to institute and maintain a method of exchanging and interchanging business information.

Creating a Black Wall Street district is necessary because, “When we go outside our community, we take away from what our ancestors worked so hard to create,” Williams said. There are also Black Wall Street Districts established in California; Minnesota and Georgia. The organization’s National Summit Agenda will be held in Chicago this year August 20-23 at various locations throughout the city.
Posted at the Chicago Citizen Newspaper website on August 4, 2010.

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