"Women of Greenwood"


The Women of Greenwood Virtual Exhibition, located in the Founder’s Room of the Greenwood Gallery, is the collaboration of a group of Tulsans who wanted to showcase successful women of the Greenwood era in video form. Funded by a grant from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission - WPX Energy,  the Greenwood Women's History Project involved Amanda Chastang, Diversity Officer at the University of Tulsa; Crystal Patrick, Executive Director Racism Stinks; Jamey Howland, Retired Booker T. Washington Teacher; Jocelyn Payne, North Tulsa Resident; Judith Blackwell, Retired Tulsa Physician; Laura Gonsalves, Cofounder, The Tristesse Grief Center; and Sequena Alexander, The Greenwood Gallery Director. To create  this virtual exhibit, the group partnered with Tulsa Artist and Author Carlos Moreno to feature some of his research in the video productions and exhibit five more women of Greenwood from his new book, “The Victory of Greenwood,” which is available for purchase at The Greenwood Gallery. All of the women in the program are presented in greater detail in Moreno’s book.

  • The exhibit includes video presentations of three women, with voiceovers provided by young Tulsa actors. The historic characters represented include:

    • Loula Williams, owner of the Dreamland Theater and the Williams Confectionary. Williams was proclaimed by the Tulsa Star newspaper  in 1914 to be “unquestionably the foremost business woman of the state, among Negro women.”

    • Mabel Little, founder of Little Rose Beauty Salon, 612 E. Archer St., was known for her “magic touch” to help women look their best. Little expanded her salon to hire a staff of three beauticians and built a clientele of more than 600, according to Moreno’s account in The Victory of Greenwood, before all was destroyed in 1921.

    • Olivia Hooker, born in 1915, was one of the longest-living survivors of the race massacre. As an adult, she became the first black woman to enlist in the Coast Guard and a distinguished psychology professor at Fordham University. She testified about the massacre before members of the Congressional Black Caucus and others on Capitol Hill in 2005. She died in 2018 at her home in White Plains, N.Y. at the age of 103.