( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Former NBA Star Kevin Johnson Celebrates Fixins Soul Kitchen in Tulsa, with Ananda Lewis & 1921 Tulsa Massacre Survivors
ENSPIRE Contributor: Wesley Tran
On May 31, 2023, Fixins Soul Kitchen, a full-service soul food restaurant that celebrates African American culture and traditions founded by Kevin Johnson, former NBA player and 55th mayor of Sacramento, unveiled its first location outside of California in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The grand opening event featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony to honor the last three survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre – Hughes Van Ellis (102), Viola Fletcher (109), and Lessie Benningfield Randle (108), in a rare moment in history where the remaining survivors have come together to honor the legacy of Black Wall Street. Kevin himself served the first meals of the restaurant to all three survivors.
Kevin Johnson, Pastor Ray Owens of Metropolitan Baptist Church, CEO of Devon Energy Rick Muncrief, and Executive Director of Greenwood Rising Raymond Doswell led the ribbon-cutting ceremony kicking off the opening with celebratory remarks, including a performance by local musician Tony Mason singing, “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke. MTV Video Jockey Ananda Lewis, whose grandparents were Tulsa Massacre survivors, hosted the opening ceremony while she was in town filming an upcoming docuseries. Speakers discussed the significance of hosting a ribbon cutting for a Black-owned business on the anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, as well as the local & economic impacts Fixins will have on the Tulsa community, supporting other local businesses in the area and more.
During the ceremony, Kevin Johnson stated, “Fixins has become an extension of my family’s legacy, and I’m so excited to bring our new location to Tulsa, my Grandparents’ hometown. There is such strong history for the Black community in this town, so we are opening Fixins, a Black-owned restaurant, on the anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre to celebrate the resilience and creativity of the Greenwood district. I’m so honored to be joined by the remaining Tulsa Massacre survivors, descendants, and community leaders on this important day as we give back to the Tulsa community.”
Located at 222 N Detroit Ave Suite 150, Tulsa, OK 74120, Fixins Tulsa has created 85 new jobs for the local Tulsa community. They will be open on Sunday – Thursday from 11 am – 9 pm and Friday – Saturday from 11 am – 11 pm. To celebrate the opening, Fixins Tulsa will donate a portion of opening week profits to Greenwood Rising, a state-of-the-art history center located at the heart of Tulsa’s Greenwood District honoring the legacy of Black Wall Street before and after the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. Fixins Tulsa will also make a donation to the Thunder Fellows Program – developed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Creative Arts Agency, which provides a curriculum in essential skill sets for Black high school and college students in the Tulsa area. Fixins Tulsa has created a place to honor and remember the victims of the Tulsa Massacre and serves as an example to always find ways to inspire and give back to the communities who need it the most.
To support Fixins Kitchen, check out their website!