20090605EJM 4/4 Artist rendetion of house being built on South 9th Street. Low-income housing project on South 9th Street in Newark, part of “Black Wall Street” project organized by three local home developers and Mid-Atlantic Insurance Alliance. PIcs taken on Friday in NEwark .

hat tip: Miranda

From the Star-Ledger:

A new ‘Black Wall Street’ rises in the decades after Newark’s riots
Posted by The Star-Ledger Editorial Board
July 14, 2009 5:17AM

At a time when good economic news is scarce, it’s encouraging to hear about three businessmen, all Rutgers alumni, staking a claim to the future in Newark’s West Ward.

Victor Baker, Hassan Keith and Jeffrey Montgomery are constructing houses on five empty lots on South 9th Street between 11th and 12th avenues. The Star-Ledger’s James Queally described how the trio plans to serve working families in need of affordable housing with five duplex-style homes.

They call the $2 million project “Black Wall Street,” after the prosperous black community of Greenwood that thrived in Tulsa, Okla., in the early 20th century.

It’s a nickname freighted with historical significance.

Greenwood was indeed a community with enormous wealth for its time and place. There the black middle class supported a vibrant business district, apart from the white city of Tulsa, which restricted black activity and even imposed curfews — not unusual in many segregated American cities of the time. The journalist Brent Staples and other historians described Greenwood as a “black city within a city” of as many as 15,000 residents, boasting 191 businesses, including 15 doctors, two dentists, one chiropractor and three law offices.

In that sense, “Black Wall Street” connotes hard work, self-sufficiency and success.

But that’s not the whole story.

In 1921, Greenwood was destroyed, its 35 blocks consumed by fire and looting, its residents attacked and killed by the dozens — by white Tulsans. The causes were varied but converged and accelerated over three days: the rumor that a black man had assaulted a white woman, the accumulated resentment of white Tulsa toward prosperous “Black Wall Street,” a vigilante mob egged on by the local newspaper and an out-of-control National Guard.

Rest of article at link above.

I always appreciate positive stories like this.

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