Black Wall Street

Black Wall Street

11-13 yrs old

History

Visit the thriving businesses in Tulsa, OK in 1920 (known as Black Wall Street). Complete worksheets as you travel and learn about the history.

Download Assets

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking

External References

Oklahoma Historical Society Audio Archives, Tulsa Race Riot (Massacre) Commission Collection

Links to the first tape. Other interview tapes are available on their channel.

Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District

By Hannibal B. Johnson (Book)

Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District (Images of America)

By Hannibal B. Johnson (Book)

Supporting Files

Lesson Plan


Please read this for a full outline of the lesson plan including related standards and a list of those who worked on this project.

Minecraft Activity Sheet


This document is to be used together with Minecraft to elicit conversations and record findings / learnings as students navigate the Minecraft map.

In-Class Activity Sheet


This document is to be used in the absence of Minecraft to elicit conversations and record findings / learnings of student-led internet research.

Search for the Truth Activity Sheet


This document is to be used in the absence of Minecraft. Students can use this to capture findings / learnings from research / class discussions.

Minecraft map


Learning Objectives

  • BLACK WALL STREET HISTORY: Students will develop language and historical and cultural knowledge that describe the African American community located in Tulsa, Oklahoma during the 1920s.
  • RACE RELATIONS/DIVERSITY: Students will understand how people of different races lived together in the same community. Students will respectfully express curiosity about the history and lived experiences of African Americans through safe and open-minded conversations.
  • SOCIAL JUSTICE: Students will understand justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. Students will analyze the harmful impact of bias and injustice from the 1921 events.
  • ALLYSHIP: Students will learn about empathy and the role they can play in fostering inclusion and speaking up when people are excluded or treated differently based on their identities. Students will learn to make principled decisions about when and how to take a stand against bias and injustice in their everyday lives.
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Students will understand how ideas and businesses can transform a whole community. Students will understand their role in building their community through business ventures/economic activities.

Guiding Ideas

Lesson plan created by Imani Sherman, Nina Navazio, Tochi Kanu-Ivi, Dr. Libby Dawson, Mechelle Brown, Greenwood Cultural Center and their board of directors.

  • During the 1920s, African Americans were not afforded the same opportunities and resources, however, Black Wall Street was such a success. Why do you think African Americans were able to thrive and build Black Wall Street?
  • When building communities, people must first have common goals, share ideas, work together, have pride in their community, respect each other, etc.
  • When building communities, people may not have all the same resources, privileges, wealth, opportunities, etc.
  • Educators can help students understand.

 

  • How can we establish a community wherever they go (even remotely)?
    • Educators can help students understand the benefits and basic concepts of creating and operating within a community.
    • Educators can show how people work together and a community, they can overcome great obstacles placed before them even when inequalities exist.
    • Educators can show how different people groups can live together until they start disrespecting and devaluing other groups.
    • Educators can show the importance of empathy when dealing with people of diverse backgrounds and identities.

 

Here are some questions students should be able to answer at the completion of the activity. There are a few YouTube videos linked below that can aid in the discussion and teachings:

1. What is Black Wall Street?

2. Where was Black Wall Street?

3. How did Black Wall Street come to be?

4. Why is Black Wall Street significant?

5. How economically buoyant was Black Wall Street?

6. What happened during the Tulsa race massacre?

7. Name a prominent person in the Black Wall Street Community.

8. What structures in Black Wall Street have lasted through time?

9. What building/business did you build for the community? Why is this important?

10. How can you help make your community a safe and bias free place for all to live in?

Student Activities

  • Pre-teach Tulsa Race Massacre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc7lXBL9mng , https://officialblackwallstreet.com/black-wall-street-story/
  • Pre-teach Black Wall Street and Greenwood Cultural Center: https://greenwoodculturalcenter.com/black-wall-street
  • Background vocabulary:
    • Entrepreneurial, Social Justice, Discrimination, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity
  • Identify ways to support students who have minimal interactions with different people groups by having a guest speaker of a different race, religion, ethnicity, etc. interviewing people over the phone who are not like you, etc.
  • We encourage teachers to utilize documentaries and interviews linked in the external resources sections to supplement this lesson plan.
  • If you do not have access to Minecraft, we encourage you to utilize one of the additional worksheet activities below.
  • If you have time, consider discussing the economics around community businesses.

 

 

Student Activities:

  • Students will learn and practice the use of new vocabulary words shared at the beginning of the lesson (Approximate time: 5 min)
  • Students will complete a pre-writing exercise by responding to the prompt: "How has learning about the Tulsa Race Massacre made you understand the need for people and groups to respect each other?” (15 min)
  • Students will take part in a short classroom discussion on social justice and race in America and how they can be change agents. (5 min)
  • Students will then engage in an activity that will teach them about some of the prominent people in Black Wall Street and a reflection on community businesses. (20 min)
    • If students have access to Minecraft, have them download the attached world “Black Wall Street”. Then, have students load the world in Minecraft: Education Edition. Once in the map, students will walk around Black Wall Street and complete the “Minecraft Activity Sheet” linked below.
    • If students do not have access to Minecraft but have access to the internet, they will complete the “Search for the Truth Activity Sheet” linked below.
    • If students do not have access to Minecraft or the internet, they will complete the “In-class Activity Sheet” linked below. This activity relies heavily on the teacher providing information about Black Wall Street and the businesses there.
  • Students will close the lesson by sharing their reflection on the Tulsa Race Massacre and the importance of building communities. (5 min)

 

Performance Expectations

Students will demonstrate an understanding of Black Wall Street by completing a  reflection entry in their game portfolio. Educators can review and respond to these  reflection entries. If you do not have access to Minecraft, please use the worksheets  linked in the supporting files.

As an extension, educators can request feedback via Flipgrid on their students reflections on mindfulness.

 

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking

External References

Oklahoma Historical Society Audio Archives, Tulsa Race Riot (Massacre) Commission Collection

Links to the first tape. Other interview tapes are available on their channel.

Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District

By Hannibal B. Johnson (Book)

Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District (Images of America)

By Hannibal B. Johnson (Book)

Supporting Files

Lesson Plan


Please read this for a full outline of the lesson plan including related standards and a list of those who worked on this project.

Minecraft Activity Sheet


This document is to be used together with Minecraft to elicit conversations and record findings / learnings as students navigate the Minecraft map.

In-Class Activity Sheet


This document is to be used in the absence of Minecraft to elicit conversations and record findings / learnings of student-led internet research.

Search for the Truth Activity Sheet


This document is to be used in the absence of Minecraft. Students can use this to capture findings / learnings from research / class discussions.

Minecraft map