In Less Than 100 Years... The "Indians" that developed "Negro"/"Black" Wall Streets
Updated: Dec 30, 2022
Thousands of the original American inhabitants emigrated from their homelands in the Southeast of North America to Oklahoma or "Indian Territory" either voluntarily or involuntarily. The journey traveled by the original American inhabitants is commonly referred to as The Trail of Tears. Most of the original American inhabitants that left their homelands for "Indian Territory" would today be labeled as "Black" or "African American", just as these same original American inhabitants were labeled "Negro" during the 1800s and 1900s.
Like more growing cities in other states, Tulsa (particularly 30-40 blocks in the Greenwood district) eventually became a place for original American inhabitants to begin or continue to thrive in ways that were not as likely in the south. Likewise, Europeans emigrated to Oklahoma in large numbers to the same cities and towns where the original American inhabitants were already thriving.
While Europeans (both, fair-skin and dark-skin or swarthy) continued to move west, then president Andrew Jackson promoted The Indian Removal Act, and allowed U.S. government agents to forcefully remove "Indians" from their homelands if they refused to voluntarily leave. Jackson's zealous decisions were influenced by the number of fair-skin foreigners finding social and economic mobility, and refusing to live alongside "Indians" (today, "Black" and "African American" people). Tens-of-thousands of "Indians" migrated from states as far as Florida to Oklahoma between the years 1830-1861.
Seminole Indians defended their homelands against the United States government for a number of years. Seminole Indians became prisoners of war (POW) during the ongoing battles generally known as the Seminole Wars. POWs were transported from Florida to New Orleans and eventually up to "Indian Territory". All tribes/nations found themselves sometimes in agreement with each other and other times not so much. This often resulted in nations either having internal conflicts or conflicts with other Indian tribes/nations.
-- (below are images of Seminole Indians - See link below for source)
In short, the "Indians" of the southeast were able to successfully utilize their knowledge and skill sets to establish and maintain numerous communities throughout Oklahoma as well as in many other states such as The Hayti Community, Durham, N.C., Jackson Ward, Richmond, Va., The Fourth Avenue District: Birmingham, and Ala., Boley, Okla. to name a few.
In conclusion, the original American inhabitants of the southeast are the "Indians" that populated Oklahoma after The Indian Removal Act was put into action removing those "Negroes" from their original homelands. While some readers may reference the freedmen to mention the use of the term "African American", the US government ascribes the labels and identities they believe would benefit their organization(s) and corporations. Hence, today we see millions of people believing their ancestors arrived to North America on the bottom of a ship controlled by "white men"
A timeline of events relative to the erasure of the Original American inhabitants.
1830: The Indian Removal Act - (tribes from southeast were forced or coerced from their homes)
1830-1850: Trail of Tears - (tens of thousands relocated east of the Mississippi River - Oklahoma)
1861-1864: The Confiscation Act
1861-1865: The Civil War
1865-1877: The Reconstruction Era - (fair-skin Europeans slowly took government positions)
1889: An increase of people to Oklahoma - (people that would today be labeled as "Black" and "White")
1921: The terrorist attack/massacre on "Negro" or "Black" Wall Street
* The Root
* Foreman, G. (1953). Indian removal: The emigration of the five civilized tribes of Indians (Vol. 2). University of Oklahoma Press.