Tulsa, OK

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North Tulsa:

From a Thriving Community to Home of Tulsa Gangs

Oklahoma’s second largest city has a community in North Tulsa that has for years been neglected and been ignored, until now.

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Tulsa Black History Background

Tulsa black history dates back to the 1800s during the time of the North Tulsa area of the Greenwood District, also known as Black Wall Street, which was once one of the country’s most successful all-black communities.

In the Greenwood community people supported each other, which helped build a number of self-owned black businesses and entrepreneurs.

The success in the community brought in much jealousy from other residents outside of the North Tulsa neighborhood.

north tulsa black history

A Tulsa black history landmark of Black Wall Street.

On a day in the year 1921 rumors went around that a black male from the Greenwood district raped a white woman.

With hatred already for Greenwood, mobs of people went into the community and attack citizens, homes, and businesses.

Days of violence caused hundreds of people to be injured or killed, along with the destruction to numerous of properties, as days of violence led to the National Guard to come in and restore order.

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The North Tulsa Timeline

During the late 1960s, urban renewal with the construction of housing projects and highways helped transform North Tulsa by destroying significant parts of the community.

Urban renewal also separated and isolated the North Side of Tulsa from the rest of the city, resulting in a large decline within the entire North Tulsa community.

north tulsa ghetto

Comanche Park of the North Tulsa ghetto.

Tulsa’s housing authority, which was started during the 1960s for people in need of affordable housing, slowly turned into the North Side into the Tulsa ghetto.

With the construction of low income housing complexes, many people of North Tulsa became afraid with the idea that the housing projects would bring a number of problems, which helped many to eventually leave Tulsa’s North Side.

tulsa ghetto

Vernon Manor

The housing projects, which the majority are located in North Tulsa other than a few in South and West Tulsa, would later decline by the 1980s as the complexes did not have proper upkeep.

During the mid-1980s, with the lack of opportunities and employment, many people of the North Tulsa ghetto began to join different Blood and Crip affiliations, which would later help produce the identity of “Thug Town”.

north tulsa gangs

Woodrow St. Crips Tulsa gangs

Around that time, many communities would become so bad that were constant police raids or around the clock foot patrol.

Also, many of the housing complexes would later either be at the center of controversy as owners would misuse federal funds or would be condemned for lack of proper maintenance.

The Turley community.

By the 2000s, despite Tulsa gangs like the Red Mob or Hoovers and Tulsa ghetto areas like Turley or apartments around South Peoria, the gang activity has declined compared to previous years.

As the years passed, most of Tulsa’s housing projects eventually became gated communities, controlling the residents movement and limiting visitors, or sold to private investors and replaced with mixed-income apartments.

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Check out more of Tulsa and Oklahoma with maps, videos, and more.

*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% correct.

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