PRNEWSWIRE/TULSA, OKLA. - Tyrance Billingsley II and impact and innovation company SecondMuse announced its first group of community supporters who are working with Black Tech Street to build a tech hub of Black entrepreneurs in what was once the wealthiest and most successful Black community in the United States before it was destroyed by government-backed racism and hate.
Since Billingsley launched his vision for Black Tech Street, the program has coalesced support from the community to bring this vision to life. The initiative already has committed support from MetCares, the Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce, the Black Wall Street Times, the Terrence Crutcher Foundation, TYPROS, and Urban Coders Guild.
"With the help of these partners, Black Tech Street will catalyze a global movement that takes the charge of Black Wall Street to the 21st century to see Black people everywhere embrace technology as a medium to hike wealth and positively impact the world," said Billingsley. "Our mission is to build a new system that unshackles the innovative and creative capability of Black people and allows for widespread access and participation in wealth creation."
Beginning in Tulsa, Black Tech Street aims to create a national movement of Black tech excellence. The founding program in Tulsa will stand out as an opportunity for Black tech entrepreneurs around the world and serve as a model for communities wanting to create a tightly knit and collaborative ecosystem of Black entrepreneurs to support and innovate with one another.
"Black Tech Street will mark the beginning of a national movement to fundamentally build a more inclusive technology sector that will give rise to more innovative and creative technology without the blindspots of the current tech sector," said SecondMuse Co-CEO Todd Khozein. "Tyrance's vision and the program's ethos of being built from within the community exemplifies the sort of success we have fostered over the years that builds up entire economies where everyone, especially historically marginalized communities, has a fair shot."
Billingsley and SecondMuse are in talks with other partners and are in discussions with and have commitments from large institutional donors who are supporting this vision. Those announcements will be made in the coming weeks and months.
Engaging Black Tulsan Artists to Symbolize Future Success
As part of its initial efforts to catalyze the next 100 years of Black innovation, Black Tech Street will be launching a call for local Black Tulsan artists to submit designs for a new symbol to represent the vibrancy and prosperity of Tulsa's Black business and cultural community.
Black Tech Street's goal is to replace the existing Tulsa symbol of the "Golden Driller" with "The Lady of Arts and Innovation" – represented as a Black woman, with imagery that heralds Tulsa's new age of technological innovation and artistic creativity.
"As the Centennial of the Greenwood Massacre passes, our city needs a new image and symbol to rally around to show that the next 100 years will stand in direct contrast to the last 100 years," Billingsley said. "The next 100 years will be depicted by a woman of color who represents the brilliance and creativity needed to push Tulsa to a new level of prosperity."
For more information about Black Tech Street and the call for artists, which will be publicly announced on June 19, visit blacktechstreet.com.
About the image: O. W. Gurley (born Ottaway W. Gurley Dec. 25, 1867-Aug. 6, 1935) was once one of the wealthiest Black men and a founder of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Okla., known as Black Wall Street.