Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce president found dead in Oklahoma home with injured husband

Police reportedly not searching for suspect

Community react as Black business activist found dead in Oklahoma home

The president of an Oklahoma association for Black-owned business was found dead in her home on Wednesday morning outside of the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Police were called to the surburb of Bixby, home of Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce president Sherry Gamble Smith, at 8.05am on Wednesday, responding to a 911 call coming from inside the house.

There, they found Ms Smith dead and her husband Martin injured. He would later die at a nearby hospital.

“It appears to be domestic in nature but the investigation is still underway to determine the timeline and what lead to this tragedy,” Seth Adcock of the Bixby Police Department told The Independent.

Police are not looking for a suspect at this time, Fox23 reports.

Bixby police and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are investigating what happened.

The Independent has contacted the state police for comment.

Smith was remembered by those who knew her as passionate about giving back to the Tulsa community and honouring Black history. She regularly organised Juneteenth events in the city.

“It’s going to take those individuals who worked dilligently with her, her children, her family members, other community members that were as passionate about the community as she was to pull together and continue her legacy,” longtime friend and pastor Jamaal Dyer told KRMG. “Take those tools and deposits that she made into our lives and now make them come to fruition.”

“My heart is very heavy over the death of Sherry Gamble Smith, visionary leader of the Black Wall Street Chamber in Tulsa,” Ken Levit, executive director of the Tulsa-area George Kaiser Family Foundation wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “She was a warm and wonderful human being full of generosity in spirit and a conviction to do justice and act with decency always.”

The Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit that seeks to “unify, promote and empower the African American community through entrepreneurship, programming, economic development, education, and training in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” according to its website.

The group’s name is in part a reference to the infamous 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

On 1 June, 1921, a lynch mob of white people burned and looted Greenwood, Oklahoma, a section of Tulsa known as “Black Wall Street” for its high concentration of African American-owned businesses.

As many as 300 people may have been killed, and 35 city blocks were burnt to the ground.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in