Greenwood Rising. There is nothing I love more than a really well-done history museum. I knew that coming to Tulsa was going to be an opportunity to study some really important but difficult moments in American history, including the Tulsa Massacre. With that in mind, we spent the afternoon at Greenwood Rising, the Black Wall St History Center. I am so impressed with this museum and look forward to the opportunity to visit again.
Greenwood Rising tells the remarkable and resilient story of the Greenwood community by bringing the story of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street to life. On the outside wall is a quote from James Baldwin that says, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” I think museums like this are so important in making sure we don’t forget these big moments in history because otherwise, our world can never get better.
As far as museums go, Greenwood Rising was impressive. There are so many interactive parts, and you really feel immersed in the events that led up to the massacre. While parts of the museum are very deep, visitors do have the chance to bypass some of the more violent parts if they prefer. Making this museum friendly to families of all ages.
I particularly enjoyed the barber shop display, where holographic images allowed you to sit “inside” a barber shop in the summer of 1921, just before the massacre. Here you listened to the barbers chat about life in Greenwood, and the rising tension around them.
Every part of Greenwood Rising was accessible to me in my chair. Even the displays were at levels that allowed me to see the artifacts and read the history. On our first visit, we spent about 2 hours exploring, but I definitely felt like I needed more time to reflect on what I was seeing and to visit again. This is easy to do right now because tickets are free, but you do still need to reserve your spots online so they can maintain the intimacy of smaller crowds.