Statement: On Centennial of Race Massacre, Black Wall Street Needs National Monument Protection


Tulsa, OK— Today, as President Biden visits Tulsa to memorialize the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, leaders called on his administration to designate the site, known as ‘Black Wall Street’ a national monument. For decades, Black people in our country have been under assault from systemic violence and an unfair political system more responsive to the voices of corporations than to community voices. A national monument designation would help preserve the site’s history, educate the public on racism in the United States, and celebrate Black success. 

In response to the visit, representatives of the Black Wall Street national monument campaign released the following statements: 

“Each of us should learn the hard lessons of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and the continued harm shouldered by the survivors, the descendants and the neighborhood of Greenwood. We should learn that race, racism and discrimination have very real, concrete effects on our history, our culture, our politics and our current lives,” said Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, the Founder of the Terence Crutcher Foundation and the Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition. “The President must begin work to designate Black Wall Street a national monument so we can always remember the history of this place and educate generations to come. We must work together in pursuit of justice for the living survivors and the community that’s been left behind."

“Tulsa’s Greenwood District is a significant pillar in the Black community whose undertold story has been suppressed for far too long - yet the dark, unjust legacy of the riots remain present in the memories of the survivors, their families and Black Oklahomans across the state. The destruction of one of America’s most prosperous communities at the time is a lesson that should remain not only in our history books and school curriculum, but also in the hearts of us all in our pursuit of a more just world, planet and society,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “National monuments play a critical role in telling the history of this country, and ensuring significant pieces of history and culture are preserved. We urge the Biden administration to designate Tulsa’s Greenwood district a national monument.”


Report from the History Channel: “At the turn of the 20th century, Black Americans founded and developed the Greenwood district in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The community grew and flourished as a Black economic and cultural mecca— referred to as Black Wall Street—  until May 31, 1921. One hundred years ago, a white mob terrorized the area, killing an estimated 300 people, destroying businesses and residences, and leaving residents homeless.” “The incident stands as one most horrific acts of racial violence, and domestic terrorism, ever committed on American soil.”

Today, local and national organizations are calling on the Biden administration and Congress to designate Black Wall Street as a national monument to preserve the site’s history, educate the public on racism in the United States, and celebrate the Black experience in its entirety. Sierra Club joins activists from Tulsa and around the country in supporting efforts towards a clean, sustainable economy that must ensure that historically underserved communities have a strong voice in restructuring and receive prioritized access to the benefits of a new economy. To learn more about Tulsa’s fight against racial injustice and inequity, visit To get more informed on the remembrance work being done to honor the victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre, go to

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit