Tulsa man uses technology to rebuild Black Wall Street

Tulsa man uses technology to rebuild Black Wall Street

TULSA, Okla. — Tyrance Billingsley II is channeling the legacy of Black Wall Street into a tech-focused movement, seeing the industry as a tool to rebuild generational wealth.

Billingsley, a Tulsa native and descendant of survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. His journey into the past began with a discovery at the historic Vernon AME Church. “We found the names of one of my family members in one of the books that donated to the rebuilding of Vernon AME Church on a ledger,” said Billingsley.

He said this connection to his ancestors inspired his vision for the future, launching Black Tech Street in 2021.

Billingsley said he’s on a mission to revitalize the community through cutting-edge technology; focusing on cybersecurity, data analytics, and responsible artificial intelligence. His efforts are gaining support from the big leagues.

“We brokered an alliance with Microsoft to raise the capacity of our ecosystem to attract, retain and produce Black cyber talent,” said Billingsley. “We’ve got a soft goal we’re working towards of trying to get a thousand Black cyber professionals in Tulsa by the year 2030.”

Billingsley is getting national attention for his ethics in AI work, like an invitation to see President Biden sign an Executive Order, and speaking to the U.S. Senate.

“We’re working to rebirth Black Wall Street as a premier Black innovation economy, but also catalyze this movement that sees Black people embrace tech as a mechanism to build wealth and impact the world.”

Billingsley said he helped bring dozens of black tech professionals to the national hacker convention, DEF CON.

Hack the Future is kicking off at the Greenwood Cultural Center on February 22. It’s next stops will be Chicago, Cleveland, and Houston.

“We’ll be exposing community members to artificial intelligence and challenging them to interface with it in a way that shows how it can be used to enhance the productivity in their respective areas of life and employment,” said Billingsley.

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