Kevin Johnson is keeping his family legacy alive and bringing more prosperity to their community through the opening of Fixins Soul Kitchen in Tulsa, OK.
The city holds significant value to Johnson, because his grandparents were born there, and he credits his grandmother with inspiring some of the menu items, per Tulsa’s KTUL ABC 8.
According to a news release shared with AfroTech, the former NBA player and 55th mayor of Sacramento held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, June 1, 2023, in Tulsa to introduce locals to Fixins Soul Kitchen. Attendees experienced the establishment’s purpose first hand, as it aims to bring communities together to celebrate the rich heritage and culture of African Americans.
At the event were the last three survivors of a massacre that occurred in the city in 1921: Hughes Van Ellis (102), Viola Fletcher (109), and Lessie Benningfield Randle (108). During the life-altering day, a mob destroyed over 1,250 homes, killed hundreds of Black individuals, and destroyed their businesses, causing immense havoc and $1.8 million in property loss claims, which would amount to $27 million today, per The New York Times. The thriving community of the Greenwood District was called America’s Black Wall Street.
“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,” Johnson said in a news release. “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.”
As promised, Johnson will donate a portion of the first week proceeds from Fixins Soul Kitchen to Greenwood Rising, an art center preserving the history of Black Wall Street.
Johnson will also take additional measures to cater to the community by donating to the Thunder Fellows Program. The kind gesture will increase the likelihood of local Black high school and college students securing “mentorship, professional coaching, and immersive experiences” to readily prepare for a career in sports, entertainment, and technology, per the program’s website.
Additionally, Fixins Soul Kitchen is actively strengthening the workforce in real time with the creation of 85 jobs and a partnership with Edible Sac High to expose underserved youth to the restaurant industry and assist them in re-entering the workforce.
“We’re always going to be able to have a partner to build and grow our youth. One way we do it is we keep them out of the streets, keep them working, give them a job, skillset,” General Manager Derek Allen said, according to KOTV-DT, News 6, a CBS affiliate in Tulsa. “They may not necessarily want to be in the restaurant business, but at least they’ll have the opportunity to be able to learn how to work.”
Looking ahead, there are plans to become a TRUE Zero waste facility and work with homeless assistance organizations.