Is this your first time here?

Each day, Clio connects thousands of people to nearby culture and history. Our website and mobile app are free for everyone and designed to make it easy to discover cultural and historical sites throughout the United States. You can search for nearby sites, take a walking tour, create your own itinerary, or simply go for a walk or drive and let Clio show you nearby sites using our mobile app. Clio is non-profit and free for everyone thanks to the support of people like you. Donations are tax- deductible! Click here to learn more!

Vernon AME Church and O. W. Gurley

Time Capsule-Historic Images and Recollections (Historic Events)

Listen

O.W. Gurley was one of the participants in the "land rush" that allowed predominantly white Americans to acquire land in Oklahoma. Gurley decided to sell his land to other African Americans which led to the creation of an area of commercial development known as "Black Wall Street." The Greenwood community included the black-owned businesses and Vernon AME Church, an institution that remains central to the black community of Tulsa.

Some of the pioneers of Black Wall Street and what was Black Wall Street.
Vernon AME Church

Listen

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. 

Greenwood was 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 his life.

Sources

Cathy Spalding, "Vernon A.M.E. is witness to persistence," Tulsa World, August 10, 1991.

Address
311 N Greenwood Ave
Tulsa, OK 74120
Phone Number
(918) 587-1428
Tags
  • African American History
  • Cultural History
User Created Tours That Include This Entry
This location was created on 2015-12-01 by Renay Freckleton, Marshall University; Instructed by David J. Trowbridge.   It was last updated on 2016-08-01 by Clio Admin .

This entry has been viewed 2478 times within the past year


Comments

  • No comments found.

Join The Discussion

Only registered users can comment. Registration is completely free!

Login / Register

ResponsiveVoice used under Non-Commercial License