NEW YORK: As the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre that destroyed “Black Wall Street” approaches, The New York Times and insurance and financial company MassMutual have partnered on a campaign to uplift Black businesses.
Ahead of the anniversary on May 31, The New York Times and MassMutual converted ad space into a digital storefront for 100 Black-owned businesses.
Housed on its own landing page, the campaign features art by illustrator Sabrena Khadija and aims to drive visitors to Black-owned businesses.
“We aimed to create vibrant visuals that depict rich, diverse and active commerce scenes,” said Patricia Sanchez Navarro, graphic designer for the T Brand at The New York Times, the media outlet’s custom content studio.
The collaborative campaign is in support of The Times' "Black History, Continued" editorial series, which features content and virtual events that explore transformative events and figures in Black history and culture.
Led by the Times’ T Brand in collaboration with MassMutual and its media agency, Giant Spoon, the campaign highlights Black-owned businesses nationwide in the retail, finance, creative, technology and other sectors including E.E. Ward Moving and Storage, Estelle Colored Glass and FlameKeepers Hat Club.
“The Times and MassMutual support Black-owned businesses, and this project showcases one of many ways MassMutual is driving equality,” said Esther Haynes, editorial director of T Brand. “Our goal is to underscore the fact that Black history is our history, America’s history and inextricably linked to events past, present and future and that it shouldn’t be consigned to one month of reflection and celebration.”
The Tulsa Massacre, or the Tulsa Race Massacre, took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921, when a white mob targeted the affluent Black community of Greenwood, also known as “Black Wall Street.” More than 1,000 businesses were burned; the estimated death toll is between 50 and 300, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society.
The campaign will run through the end of the year and will be promoted across the Times’ social media and websites as well as through sponsored content within the Times’ podcasts.
The New York Times published an interactive article on Monday illustrating where businesses on Black Wall Street once stood.
This story first appeared on PRWeek US.