DeAnna Taylor • Jun 1, 2021
May 31, 2021, officially marked 100 years since the massacre that took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Thousands of Black men, women, children, and esteemed business owners were displaced— or worse, killed— when bombs dropped and fires set in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood, aka Black Wall Street.
The history of this neighborhood has been spotlighted more in recent years, especially as the United States faces its own racial injustices of today. But, we don’t often hear of the stories of individuals who made the historic Black community what it was.
One man aiming to do so is Chicago native Tucker Toole, who discovered that his great-great-great grandfather was Mr. J.B. Stradford, a man that many compared as the Jeff Bezos of Black Wall Street. Although Toole was aware of his family’s remarkable history, it wasn’t until he began researching for a piece he penned for NatGeo, that he found there was more to Mr. Stradford’s story than what he had been told.