OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and students at F.D. Moon Middle School are learning about the devastation in Tulsa in a unique way.
They created their own businesses to honor Black Wall Street.
On Friday, the school hosted a ‘pop-up shop’ so the entire school could see the finished products.
Each storefront was created by 6th grade students.
“They’re more creative than we think they are,” said 6th grade English teacher, Debra Bell.
The projects started out as just a power point presentation, but they blossomed into boutiques, restaurants, even a paint store.
Each storefront represents a student learning to be their boss.
“Now that they’ve gotten time to really dig into something, they have learned new passions, they have a new mission in life,” said 6th grade teacher Morgan Perkins.
There’s a deeper lesson, too, beneath the crafts and fun.
The kids are learning about honoring Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre.
“A lot of them were shocked when they found out what happened, and how close it is to here and they didn’t know about it,” said Bell.
They learn about the history, culture, successes, and devastations.
“Making them understand that we have roots, where we were successful. We were a community. That is what I want them to know and understand,” said Perkins.
After their peers voted for their favorite projects, they presented their business proposals to a group of judges.
Perkins calling it the middle school version of ‘Shark Tank.’
For the students, just because the competition is over, doesn’t mean their businesses are.
“We’ve had investors, we’ve had parents that are going to start LLCs for some of these students,” said Perkins.
Staff says the lessons learned will continue on for generations.
“Exposure for me is everything, knowledge really is power,” said Bell.