Tulsa, OK

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Tulsa Gangs and Ghetto Story

During the mid-1980s, with the lack of opportunities or employment, many people of the North Tulsa ghetto streets began to claim Blood and Crip affiliations of Los Angeles, forming Tulsa gangs that would later help label the city as “Thug Town”.

tulsa gangs ghetto

Tulsa South Peoria

The start of the community dates back to the 1800s to North Tulsa’s Greenwood district, also known as Black Wall Street, 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 businesses and entrepreneurs. The success in the community brought in much jealousy from other residents outside of the North Tulsa neighborhood.

tulsa black history

Tulsa’s Black Wall Street Memorial

On a day in the year of 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.  Hundreds of people were killed and numerous of properties were vandalized by arson, with days of violence that made the National Guard to come in and restore order.

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Starting in the late 1960s, the construction of housing projects and highways helped transform North Tulsa, by destroying significant parts of the community, along with separating and isolating the North Side from the rest of Tulsa, resulting in a large decline within the entire North Tulsa community.

tulsa ghetto

North Tulsa’s Turley area.

Tulsa’s housing authority that was started in the 1960s for people in need of affordable housing, slowly turned into the North Side into the Tulsa ghetto as people were afraid of the problems that housing complexes would bring, which helped many to leave the area.

The housing projects would later change and decline in the 1980s, as the complexes did not have proper upkeep, with the majority being in North Tulsa, other than a few in the South and West Tulsa ghetto, racially diverse parts of town.

Tulsa ghetto

Comanche Park

Many communities would become so bad that were constant police raids or around the clock foot patrol.  Others were either at the center of controversy as owners would misuse federal funds or were being condemn for lack of proper maintenance.

tulsa ghetto

Vernon Manor, now Bradford Commons

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

Tulsa Gangs

Tulsa Gangs tag

In the 2000s, with Tulsa gangs like the Red Mob or the 107 Hoovers and Tulsa ghetto areas of Turley and projects like Comanche Park together with other blocks in North Tulsa, and not forget the Mexican community of East Tulsa and the apartments of South Tulsa like Normandy or South Peoria, the city has not changed that much since the 1980s.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Correct on history but not really current. Barely mentioned 61. 61st/S
    Peoria and never mentioned West Tulsa off SW Blvd and NW 23rd. East Tulsa by far not just Mexican gangs. Go to Shoreline Apts. The police and jump out boyz on Tues and Thurs. are so hot out north north side moved around. Early Turley never mentioned. That’s any St past 36th St. North. But 61 has Fairmont, South Glen, Tamarack, Peachtree, Riverparks, and it goes up to South Lewis from 61 to 71 the arbors the villas its everywhere in The Town.

    • marco richardson

      The point was a historic influence, none of those places came I to play until they started accepting those from the Northside on government assistance! Gave enough information for someone to start researching and analyzing Tulsa history timeline and include. Just the way history is constructed!