Charleston County School District (CCSD) Black Educators Affinity Group (BEAG) hosted its first-ever Black Wall Street Vendor Fair on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at Burke High School.
Modeled after the Black Wall Street USA Movement, established by founder Dr. Michael Carter, Sr. in 1998, the event featured local Black-owned businesses and student entrepreneurs. It was a day full of student performances, guest speakers, financial seminars, and business-focused workshops. A variety of food trucks were on hand and the day ended with a special performance by The Black Diamond Band.
“The Black Wall Street Vendor Fair came from a discussion on ways to provide a space for businesses listed in our BEAG Entrepreneurship Directory (est. February 2022) to share their goods and services with the public,” said Tasha Joyner, CCSD’s Project Prevent Program Officer and president of the BEAG. “We decided to add student entrepreneurs as a form of modeling and mentorship. We plan to make this an annual event and potentially add a date in the fall for holiday shopping.”
Black Wall Street districts are established around the globe in the spirit of the original Black Wall Street district of Tulsa, OK, also known as Greenwood.
Black Wall Street districts can be recognized as an urban area that is a thriving center of the right spirit, business, industry, and culture and is a commercial strip that has 50 to 70 percent or more businesses owned by African-Americans.
Today’s Black Wall Street nonprofit organization pays tribute to the Tulsa Race Massacre, also known as the Black Wall Street Massacre. This was a two-day-long tragic event that took place between May 31 - June 1, 1921, when mobs of white residents, some of whom had been appointed as deputies and armed by city government officials, attacked Black residents and destroyed homes and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, OK. The event is considered one the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. The attackers burned and destroyed more than 35 square blocks of the neighborhood—at the time one of the wealthiest Black communities in the United States, colloquially known as "Black Wall Street.”