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A conceptual design rendering shows the Greenwood Rising History Center adjacent to the Greenwood Cultural Center. Courtesy/Selser Schaefer Architects

Failed negotiations to construct the Greenwood Rising History Center next to the Greenwood Cultural Center have left open the question of location for the important new facility.

It’s too bad that an agreement on a meaningful city project could not be reached between the cultural center and the 1921 Race Massacre Centennial Commission.

State Sen. Kevin Matthews, chairman of the centennial commission, told the Tulsa World’s Kevin Canfield the new construction site will be announced in the next two weeks.

It seems obvious, and everyone says it’s what’s going to happen, but it needs to be said: The best place to tell the history of Greenwood is in Greenwood. We hope a location can be found that accomplishes that.

Greenwood Rising grew out of the centennial commission as a center dedicated to telling the history of Greenwood, Black Wall Street and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

The space is planned to portray the entrepreneurial spirit of the district, the reality of the massacre and to engage in dialogue and reconciliation.

Greenwood Rising was one of three major projects planned in the district to commemorate next year’s massacre centennial, along with renovation of the Greenwood Cultural Center and construction of a Pathway to Hope.

The centennial commission has raised about $21 million toward the $30 million goal for the projects; that includes $5.34 million from local taxes and $1.5 million in state funding.

Construction of Greenwood Rising is expected to be on time with programming starting in June 2021, Project Director Phil Armstrong says.

Each project is important for the 100th commemoration of the race massacre, and we hope that the location problem can be resolved.

Many perspectives and many voices are necessary for a complete narrative of our city’s darkest chapter.

These are essential in moving the city forward by facing the tragedy and highlighting the vibrancy and perseverance of the district.

We wish the Greenwood Rising project nothing but luck, and look forward to visiting its new facility soon ... and in Greenwood.


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