TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Business owners in Tulsa’s Greenwood District are voicing their disappointment, asserting that the newly unveiled “Tulsa-Edition” of Monopoly lacks the sensitivity and respect Black Wall Street deserves.
The discontent stems from the belief that the board and certain cards fail to accurately represent the historical significance of the area.
Earlier this month, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum highlighted the overwhelming community engagement in suggesting place names for Tulsa, emphasizing the significance of the project.
However, Greenwood business owners argue that Hasbro’s decision to roll the dice on this edition missed the mark.
Kode Ransom, a Greenwood business owner, expressed excitement initially, figuring that Greenwood would be highly featured in the product.
“When you think Tulsa, Oklahoma you think Black Wall Street,” said Ransom.
Ransom and fellow business owner Alvin Muhammad expressed frustration in the aftermath of the reveal.
They say they felt that the game failed to capture the essence of Black Wall Street’s history or give it notable representation on the game board, despite featuring the Greenwood Cultural Center and the ONEOK field.
The disappointment extends beyond mere oversight, as business owners take issue with specific cards in the game.
One community chest card tasks players with supporting black-owned businesses by shopping Black Wall Street for $50.
A chance card in the game’s edition forces players to pay each other player the same amount to cover rideshare so they can spend a day in Reconciliation Park.
Attorney and fellow Greenwood business owner Ron Durbin raised concerns about losing money without receiving adequate benefits in return; which is typically Monopoly’s form of punishment.
Other business owners have labeled the move as “bizarre” and racially insensitive.
Durbin emphasized the broader implications of how he perceived Greenwood had been treated for decades and said the move by Hasbro adds insult to injury.
“[Greenwood business owners are] just the red-headed stepchild. Except for this particular case, they’re the black stepchild of the City of Tulsa.”
A spokesperson for Mayor G.T. Bynum’s office directed NewsChannel 8 to Hasbro for any questions.
The spokesperson said the city was not engaged in the creation or selection of the spaces or any item on the board.
Addressing the community’s concerns, Hasbro and Top Trumps USA released a statement, acknowledging the need for an update to the edition:
“Hasbro and Top Trumps USA are working to update MONOPOLY: Tulsa Edition to address concerns we have heard from the community – and to ensure that future productions of the game reflect the rich history and culture of the city. If any fans of the game wish to trade in the Community Chest card that references Black Wall Street, they can do so by contacting Top Trumps USA online.”