The New Black Wall Street Market in Stonecrest, Georgia, opened to 10,675 people on its first day after months of delays. Keith Leavy, who had waited two years to attend the market’s grand opening, stated, “I came from Memphis, Tennessee, specifically for this.”
The Black Wall Street Market is located across from Stonecrest Mall, roughly 16 miles east of Atlanta’s downtown, in a former 125,000 square foot Super Target facility. The Market is a 21st-century homage to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s original Black Wall Street, which was destroyed by white mobs a century ago.
On the first day, there were lineups all over the place, notably in the food court. Vendors sold everything from Black-authored literature to African-inspired clothing with vibrant colors and patterns, as well as gear representing Black sororities and fraternities. On opening day, there was plenty of art to choose from, with many showing Black figures such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, African monarchs and queens, and African towns full of people.
Baba Adams of Universal Love Jewelry, for example, was overjoyed to be there. Adams stated, “I’m jumping for excitement to do something to support us as a people.” Trinity Ross is the owner of Trinity’s Organics, an organic soap company she launched in 2018. She was apprehensive about the market’s opening day because it would be her first in-person store; she had previously only operated online.
“It’s incredible; I have family that traveled from St. Louis to view my store and experience the Black Wall Street Market.” “It may be a new tourism attraction for the city,” Ross speculated, anxious to see how the influx of customers will benefit her company.
Charis McWhorter is one of Zoet Beauty Supply’s co-founders. Her and her business partner’s second location will be at the market. “Why not be in a market for my people, for my people,” McWhorter said. “My consumers and the folks who frequent my business are 90-something percent Black.”
The New Black Wall Street Market was supposed to open on Labor Day weekend, but the market’s proprietors had to postpone it due to a rise of COVID-19 cases in the metro Atlanta area.