Tulsa’s “Black Wall Street” continues to bring dreams to life

Sean McHenry Jun 26, 2024
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The Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Tulsa’s “Black Wall Street” continues to bring dreams to life

Sean McHenry Jun 26, 2024
Heard on:
The Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Brandon Bell/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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When Kellen James took over Silhouette Sneakers & Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he fulfilled a dream he’d had since he was 16.

(Courtesy James)

“I’ve been wanting to run a business of my own since I started working,” James said. “I started working with sneakers and that really kicked it off for me. Like, man, this would be awesome if I could do this in my way and my own style and have fun with it.”

Previous owner Venita Cooper, who opened Silhouette in 2019, had wanted to pass the store on to someone like James, a third-generation Tulsan.

Located in the Greenwood neighborhood, which was historically known as Black Wall Street, the area has a special significance in the community.

“My pop used to talk to me all the time about what this area meant to the city,” James said. “Now to be in this position where I am running a business in the same location where a lot of people benefited from, and made the best out of hard times, it means everything to me.”

To hear more of James’s story, use the audio player above.

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