Vernon AME Church and O. W. Gurley
Backstory and Context
In the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 Gurley purchased land and began to make his mark by selling it at a profit to other African Americans. A young entrepreneur, O.W. Gurley founded what was known then and now as Black Wall Street- a concentration of black-owned businesses on land he had once acquired for next-to-nothing. In addition to his business ventures, he helped establish Vernon AME Church.
destroyed in the 1921 during the Tulsa Race Riots. It is estimated that Gurley lost
$200,000 and almost lost his life along with his wealth. Gurley
lost his rooming house, hotel, one of his two story buildings, a pool hall, and a cigar store. After the riot, Gurley moved to California where he lived out the remainder of