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OU History Club holds merchandise fundraiser to benefit Black Wall Street restoration project

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History Club Shirts

Sales of the OU History Club's merchandise will go toward the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 project to restore Black Wall Street. 

The OU History Club is selling merchandise to benefit the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 project to restore Black Wall Street in Tulsa in honor of the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre. 

Various items including hoodies, T-shirts and stickers are available for purchase on the OU History Club’s Teespring page, said Marley Lunsford, the club’s vice president. The items were designed by August Stroud, the club’s event chair. 

The OU History Club has an extensive Twitter community, and some of the designs drew inspiration from jokes and memorable Twitter discourses on the club’s Twitter, Lunsford said. Some stickers feature direct references to popular tweets.

“We have such a big Twitter community, lots of jokes on Twitter, lots of things people interact with and understand, and so we thought we could make kind of fun merch that speaks to our online presence and market it online,” Lunsford said. “Proceeds go to (the restoration project), and you also get a fun T-shirt out of it.”

All proceeds from purchases will go directly to the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce in support of the campaign to restore Black Wall Street in Tulsa. The mission of the campaign is to bring people together, “to sustain a strong and vibrant urban district through planning, coordinating and communicating with and between all sectors of the Uptown community and beyond,” according to the campaign’s website.

As part of its centennial 2021 project, the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce is initiating a $10 million capital and capacity-building project, according to the campaign’s website. The project involves preserving historic buildings, engaging with the community through new partnerships with local businesses and sustaining the legacy of Black Wall Street through continued funding.  

“I don't think one could overstate the importance of learning about the Tulsa Race Massacre and the value of the Tulsa Greenwood Chamber of Commerce and the Greenwood Cultural Center and all those entities involved,” Lunsford said. “I don't think you could overstate the value they bring to their communities in preserving a history that has been pretty systemically suppressed.” 

The shop is open now through April 3. Items will be shipped on or before March 31, according to the Teespring page. 

“It's really hard to wrap your head around to think that the club selling silly T-shirts is part of such a greater effort to preserve such an important history,” Lunsford said. “It's all fun and games to sell those T-shirts, but it's not about us. It's really just about supporting those organizations and the work they do.”

Note: This story was updated at 7:42 p.m. March 23 to reflect the correct name of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. 

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