107-year-old Race Massacre survivor Viola Fletcher wears a brand new pair of Jordans. She stopped by Silhouette Sneakers in Greenwood and the owner was so honored to have Viola in his store that she wanted to give the shoes to Viola as a gift.
“It’s really down to my love for sneakers and my belief in what sneakers can bring to a community,” said Venita Cooper, owner of Silhouette Sneakers & Art.
You might see a pair of shoes, but Cooper sees a tool to bring people together.
“We want to represent the best of Tulsa,” Cooper said. “Greer Shoemaker – the plaque is outside our store. It was a shoe store that was here before us and was destroyed in the massacre and we keep an advertisement in our log.”
Venita launched Silhouette Sneakers & Art in November 2019. She has had all kinds of people arrested in her shop, but none have stopped her in her tracks like Fletcher.
“I learned this by going through a drive-thru to get fast food and I was so excited about it that I left my food,” Venita said.
Fletcher is 107 years old and is a survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre. She just told her story in front of the US House in Washington.
“There is someone who is a customer of ours who bought a pair of sneakers, who met Mother Fletcher. I guess she met him and made a remark about his shoes, like, ‘Oh I love these shoes, ”Cooper said.
Viola’s family requested to hook up with Silhouette and in no time, Cooper was sitting in her store talking with a woman whose resilience is making waves across the country.
“It was actually between some Jordan 1s and some Dunks, but she went with Jordan 1 for her ankles, she said, ‘I need that ankle support! “Cooper said.” I was guessing and I said, ‘What do you prefer? Adidas or Nike? And she said, ‘I never had either, I could never afford it. ”
The store donated the sneakers to Fletcher.
“It was an honor to have him here,” Cooper said. “This whole weekend is, this whole week is for her. It is for these survivors; this is for these descendants.”