Black Gold: Entrepreneurship + The Legacy of Black Wall Street

June 25, 2021

And that’s a wrap on Black Gold Series 1! We had the best time partnering with Greenwood Cultural Center to bring the Black Gold Speaker Series to 36 Degrees North. Throughout the month of June, we set aside time to honor the contributions of the entrepreneurs and business owners of historic Black Wall Street, and glean wisdom from current-day Black entrepreneurs. We are so grateful for the amazing entrepreneurs who joined us to share their stories and the legacies of Black Wall Street’s titans. Check out the recap below!

Week 1: Mechelle Brown, Greenwood Cultural Center

Week 1, we were joined by Mechelle Brown, from the Greenwood Cultural Center. The Greenwood Cultural Center stands as a monument to the scores of pioneers, trailblazers, entrepreneurs, professionals, politicos, and citizens who created a renowned and respected community despite formidable odds. The Center serves as a marker for the Tulsa community, chronicling where we have been, where we are, and where we are going, through historical offerings, events, and youth programming.

Mechelle and Tara shared the stories of Black Wall Street Pioneers O.W. Gurley, J.B. Stratford, and A.C. Jackson. Watch the video below to check out what we learned! Shout out to Onifade’s Cookie Company for providing the treats for Weeks 1 & 2 of Black Gold!

Week 2: Vanessa Komara, Komara Marketing Group

Vanessa Komara joined us virtually for Week 2 of Black Gold and shared her experience as a female entrepreneur and business owner. Komara Marketing Group provides clients with strategic planning, fundraising & grant writing, website design & creation, social media, and public relations. Their purpose is to help businesses turn their vision and goals into a reality. Whether you are just starting your business or would like to take the organization to the next level, Komara Marketing Group is ready to assist with every aspect of the development process.

Vanessa shared the story of Loula Williams, one of the many female leaders of Black Wall Street. Loula used the money she earned working as a schoolteacher to open a corner store in Tulsa in 1909. The store would eventually grow into the Williams Confectionery on Greenwood Avenue, with a soda fountain, popcorn machines, and giant jars of candy. Check it out!

Week 3: LaToya Rose, Rose Tax Solutions

LaToya Rose had us laughing and crying at Week 3 of Black Gold. LaToya’s incredible story of trials and triumph inspired us and left us ready to jump into our purpose. She’s the founder of Rose Tax Solutions, an accounting agency that provides businesses and organizations the support and expert guidance to lessen the fear and stress that comes with entrepreneurship. From workshops to one-on-one coaching, Rose Tax Solutions ensures that you know how to operate a profitable business for years to come.

LaToya shared the story of Mabel B. Little, an entrepreneur, and survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Mabel was the owner and founder of The Little Rose Beauty Shop on Greenwood. Learn more about LaToya and Mabel below!

Shoutout to Java Dave’s for the yummy cake pops!

Week 4: Guy Troupe, Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge

Guy Troupe came in strong for the June Finale of Black Gold! Guy is a direct descendant of Black Wall Street and a successful entrepreneur. Guy is the owner of Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge which is more than a coffee shop. It’s an experience: a place where locals and tourists vibe together. Their aim is to recreate the experiences of Black Wall Street while creating a new, sustainable culture.

Guy walked us through the implications of the Massacre: the psycho-social, human-spiritual, and economic impact. Learn more by checking out the video below!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this speaker series! We saw lots of new faces in our space and made many new friends. Keep an eye on our calendar for the next series of Black Gold, where we’ll meet a new batch of awesome entrepreneurs and hear their stories!