We need to change that.
Leveraging the global resources, connections and experience of SecondMuse, Black Tech Street is finding creative ways to codesign programs and court strategic partnerships with national and local resources in Tulsa. The goal is to build out a Black innovation economy that allows for widespread participation in the creation of wealth through entrepreneurship in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
But in order for Black people to truly capitalize on this opportunity in a way that brings long-term sustainable wealth, the seed has to be planted in our children from the get-go. Black Tech Street will aim to show young Black children that they can be a trailblazing tech CEO or a technologist working to solve climate change, world hunger or wealth inequality. We’re looking to build programming and eventually, an entire apparatus adjacent to Tulsa’s school system that allows young Black children to grow up learning coding, STEM and entrepreneurship. Our goal is to instill these skills gradually in our students throughout their primary education so that, upon graduation, they can become a tech entrepreneur or a software engineer. We want Black children everywhere to look in the mirror and say, “I am what a successful tech CEO looks like,” and, “I am the future of global innovation.”
Black people have always been some of the world’s greatest innovators, and it’s past time we reclaim that narrative. Black Tech Street aims to show every Black person in America and across the world that, they too, can embrace technology — not only as a means of building intergenerational wealth, but also as a medium to solve the problems that plague our people and this world. Through this work, we will help Black people rediscover and embrace our heritage as some of the world’s premiere innovators and pioneers as evidenced by visionaries like George Washington Carver, Lewis H. Latimer and Mary W. Jackson.
While I am excited for people to learn of the amazing things we plan to do for this community through our initiative, I am joyfully aware of the responsibility I have to follow in the footsteps of those who built Black Wall Street by giving a similar message to all Black people wherever they may be. Yes, Tulsa’s Greenwood was unlike anything that had ever been seen before and its destruction was devastating, but Black Wall Street has also inspired Black people everywhere to embrace self-sufficiency and build their own thriving communities.
Centuries of conditioning, racism and targeted exclusion has led so many Black people to shrink away from and specifically fear careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Technology is woven throughout the very fabric of our global society. We don’t live in a world where you can be “not a tech person” anymore, nor should we. Technology is a gateway to solving the vast majority of the pressing issues that face our world. One hundred years after the destruction of Black Wall Street, the Black Tech Street movement will reinvigorate and help to unshackle the innovative spirit of Black people everywhere so that we can utilize our full potential as our ancestors did.