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Tulsa Life… By Mae Catherine Godhigh

After 62 years of being a resident of Illinois, I recently relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Imam Arthur Farahkhan and I were married on April 29, 2016 and thus began our new chapter of life.

Politically, Tulsa is a red state and is not Obama friendly. Seated within the north-eastern region of Oklahoma, Tulsa has a hot and humid climate, though the winters are typically mild. However, this atmospheric backdrop is ripe for monstrous tornadoes. With a fusion of the “ole” south and gun-toting west it offers an eclectic and diverse culture.

Tulsa’s pulse rate beats to a laid back vibe. Daily, I am reminded of its southern hospitality through the warm hellos and smiles of neighbors. The culture, artists, Black Wall Street, social life and the colorful food trucks are the staples of the city. The  Black entrepreneurial spirit is an encouraging factor, but is in need of outside supporters to continue growth and prosperity within the minority community.

Black Wall StreetGreenwood is a neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was one of the most successful and wealthiest black communities in the United States during the early 20th Century. It was popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street and Little Africa.

During the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, white residents massacred black residents and razed the Black businesses and community. Survivors of the massacre report the minimum of 3,000 lives were lost during the three-day genocide. This event was one of the most devastating massacres in the history of U.S. race relations. Black residents resolutely faced the opposition of many white political, business leaders and the punitive rezoning laws. The laws were enacted to prevent reconstruction. Surviving residents were tenacious in rebuilding their community.

It took them five years to rebuild much of their district. Black Wall Street resumed being a vital black community until segregation was overturned by the Federal Government during the 1950s and 1960s. Sadly, the North side of Tulsa is a post Black Wall Street reminder of the caste oppression which remains in the city.

Notable Personalities: Tulsa is the birthplace and home of Charlie Wilson of the GAP band and Wayman Tisdale a former pro basketball player and jazz musician.

Universities: Langston University, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa University and Oklahoma State University.

Did you know Oklahoma is resident to the “Five Civilized Tribes?” They are considered as sovereign nations. They are the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole.

Recommended Fine Dining: Elmer’s BBQ (Best BBQ Catering) located at 4130 S. Peoria Avenue.

Wanda J. Restaurant/Catering: located at 1522 East Apache. They provided services for our wedding reception. Professional and excellent service is what they provide.

Sweet Lisa’s Cafés: located at 1717 N. Peoria Avenue and the Corners of Pine and Lansing Streets. Be prepared to ask for a take-out container.

Museums: Gilcrease Museum houses the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of art of the West, including art and artifacts from Central and South America. The museum is named after Thomas Gilcrease, an oil man and avid art collector.

The Philbrook Museum of Art is an art museum and cultural institution. This museum is featured at two locations.

Okay P-town family, if you are ever in our fair city, please stop by to visit. The Farahkhans’ and Tulsa welcomes you!

Contributing Writer Arthur Farahkhan