October 26, 2022

Black Tech Street: Is This The Rebirth of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street?

One hundred years after the Tulsa race massacre saw the US’ wealthiest Black community burn to the ground, Tulsa is experiencing a resurgence of Black entrepreneurial community.

The Black Tech Street, founded by Tyrance Billingsley II, is a network committed to scaling and cultivating Black potential through tech and entrepreneurship. The community provides a safe space for Black entrepreneurs and visionaries to thrive and grow, creating a model that creates space for people to build inclusive and equitable economies. 

The global Black tech hub, based in the heart of Tulsa, has been described as the rebirth of Black Wall Street. Billingsley has made it his mission to rebuild Tulsa’s Black Wall Street that saw thousands of Black people succeed in a society designed to work against them. 

“What could Black Wall Street have been, had it been supported and not destroyed?” Billingsley said in an interview with CSRWIRE.

“When I thought about the level of tenacity that it took for these entrepreneurs to build these incredible businesses during Jim Crow, it reminded me a lot of the tech industry.” 

Black Tech Street has recently partnered with innovation company, SecondMuse, to further promote investments in Black startups and push larger tech companies to hire and connect with Black workers.

The organization has also expanded its partnerships with the entrepreneurial network Build in Tulsa, accelerator network ACT TulsaTechstars, and the Lightship Foundation.

“This is a collaborative effort among the city, local organizations such as our regional chamber, and entrepreneurs,” said Arthur Johnson, senior vice president of economic development at the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“I’ve never seen this intentionality around developing not only Black-owned businesses but also Black tech talent.” 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.