Tyrance Billingsley II On the Innovative Spirit of Black Tech Street
Tyrance Billingsley II grew up in the historic Greenwood District of Tulsa, Okla., best known as America’s “Black Wall Street.” Once home to hundreds of Black-owned businesses, Greenwood was ultimately destroyed in the Tulsa race massacre of 1921.
Now with tech businesses on the rise, Billingsley II teamed with impact company SecondMuse to launch Black Tech Street (blacktechstreet.com). “We hope this initiative will catalyze a global movement for Black people to embrace the technology industry as a means of building intergenerational wealth and impacting the world.” On June 19 or Juneteenth, Black Tech Street launched its first Centennial Coin NFT. Featuring Black Wall Street founder O.W. Gurley, it commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Greenwood Massacre and is linked to a fundraising campaign that will support young entrepreneurs.
“We don’t live in a world where you can be ‘not a tech person’ anymore, nor should we. It is a gateway to solving the vast majority of the pressing issues that face our world,” says Billingsley II. “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.”
Gordon Parks, “Untitled” (1941, photography) PHOTO COURTESY OF BLACK TECH STREET