Black Wall Street: Oakland's Version

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 02:11:46
By: Chauncey Bailey - Section: Front Page News

On June 1, 1921, when "Black Wall Street," was bombed from the air and burned to the ground by mobs of envious whites. In a period of 12 hours, a once thriving 36 Block business district in northern Tulsa lay smoldering model community destroyed, and a major African American economic movement resoundingly defused.

The terror attack and night's carnage left 3,000+ African Americans dead. Many bodies have never been recovered, The infamous Ku Klux Klan, working in consort with the mayor, chief of police, ranking city officials, and many other sympathizers.

They destroyed over 600 businesses, 21 churches, 20 grocery stores and scores of other establishments.

Now, Blacks in Oakland are organizing African-American businesses along International Boulevard and have forned "Black Wall Street," according to Rev. Michael Carter, Sr. the groups Chairman.

In their self published book, Black Wall Street: A Lost Dream, and its companion video documentary, Black Wall Street: A Black Holocaust in America!, the authors Jay Jay Wilson and Ron Wallace have chronicled the words of area historians and survivors on what really happened in 1921.

Wallace explained why this bloody event from the turn of the century seems to have had a recurring effect that is being felt in predominately Black neighborhoods to this day.

"The Black Wall Street Merchants Association is a not-for profit enterprise that serves as an advocate for commerce in the African American community, that promotes ethics, and that seeks to preserve the economic growth, social and cultural vitality of the community," said Rev. Carter, Sr.

Since its founding in 1999, it has served as an effective business and social networking organization. It seeks to establish and maintain good working relations with African American, Churches, organizations and businesses from 50th Avenue to city line Bound by International Boulevard In Oakland.

"We have had church events, networking luncheons, social events, periodic special events such as business expos and we have a monthly newsletter, The Black Wall Street Merchants Association Forum," Rev. Carter, Sr told The California Voice.

"The Black Wall Street District - Oakland has 100 businesses (30 online firms) including 16 social and private agencies, 12 restaurants & cafe's, 20 Salons and barbershops, 12 specialty shops, 8 physicians, 3 real estate firms and more," Rev. Carter, Sr. Said.

The group wants to see 500 new jobs for youth by 2005, Add 200 new Black businesses by 2007, Create a $12 Billion Dollar Black Business District by 2009, Black University, Hospital, Medical research center, Center for Arts and Performances

Black Bank In Oakland?

$25M In Deposits Needed For a One United Bank Branch Oakland. Interfaith Based Banking and $500 Million in Assets Largest Black Bank In The Western Hemisphere now with branches in Los Angeles, Boston and Miami

One United Bank President and CEO, Kevin Cohee and BWS Board Chairman, Rev. Michael Carter, Sr. recently spoke regarding the possibility of the largest black owned bank in the country setting up shop in the Black Wall Street District of Oakland.

"We want to do business in Oakland" Cohee said. "We believe the deposit requirement will be we currently are currently managing loans and financial packages in the San Francisco Area."

One United Bank formerly Boston Bank of Commerce. Recently purchased both Founders Bank and Family Savings Bank of Los Angeles. In an effort to expand it's competitive reach in the west and to prevent the two banks from losing black control.

Rev. Carter, Sr said, "With an estimated $260,000,000.00 in deposits from Black Churches every 52 weeks, It would be wise of our Black spiritual Fathers, despite religion, seize this opportunity to unite the black dollar." "We've been wondering on this side of the Jordan to long..let's go through the host."

"We need $25,000,000 in deposits" Cohee Said.

"We want to ncourage African Americans to Spend 10% of what you would normally spend elsewhere with Black businesses or circulate the dollar to Black Wall Street.

Board of Directors

Rev. Michael Carter, Sr., Chairman, CEO of Carter Marketing Group, has been joined by Leonard Charles, CFO, Owner of One Stop; Chelsea Charles, Secretary, Owner of Chelsea's Chocolates Bashir Salaam, Member, Owner of Happy Home Sea Food; Maria Costen, KBLX, Marketing & Promotions Committee Chairman Jay-Jay Johnson, Entertainment & Events Committee Chairman, Owner of Jay-Jay Entertainment; Michael Cotton, Member, Owner of Riders Cafe and Sprinkle Em Detail; Brent Ambers, Member, owner of AP/PM Mini Mart (9800 International); Billy Tinsley, Member, Moses Music CD's and DVD's; Marlin Jamison, Member, Marty's Classic Styles; Fred Holmes Jr., Member, U Ready Barber Shop:

Community Inspiration

We recognize our community trailblazers, the likes of the late Dr. J.L. Allen, (Founder of Allen Temple), Dr, J. Alfred Smith, Dr, Herbert Guice, Dr. Ray Mack, Mr. Chuck Johnson, Dr. Bob Jackson, and the Elmhurst visionary, Mr. Charles Hill just to name a few.

Editor's Note: For more information go to