Tulsa massacre: All the projects in the works about the tragedy
After the controversy around Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Ok. initially meant to be held on Juneteenth, a lot of eyes went back on the Tulsa race massacre. The Tulsa massacre, between May 31st and June 1st, 1921, is the worst case of racial violence in American history.
Known as “Black Wall Street”, the Greenwood district in Tulsa was blown to bits thanks to white residents mobbing the neighborhood. A black shoeshiner, Dick Rowland, was arrested on alleged assault charges against a white teenager, and a mob of white men went to try and lynch him at the jail. A mob of black men went to protect Rowland, and from there, a fight broke out.
Sadly, the white mob didn’t let down, going into Greenwood and causing more than $1.5 million in damages. To this day, the victims never received compensation for the damage. Thankfully, several Hollywood projects are in production covering the tragic incidents in Tulsa that night.
Lebron James and Salima Koroma’s documentary
Back in 2009, James created his own production company Spring Hill, and since then has produced several docuseries and TV shows. While he’s still working on the documentary Shut Up and Dribble, he’s also announced a new documentary covering the Tulsa massacre.
While nothing else has been released about the film yet, we do know Salima Koroma is signed on to direct. Best known for producing documentary Bad Rep, we’re excited to see this collaboration.
Ashleigh Di Tonto’s docuseries
Trailblazer Studios senior VP of development Di Tonto has been trying to pitch a Tulsa massacre based docuseries for a while, but networks initially turned it down saying “no one knows the story”. Now, studios are all but chomping at the bit for her project. What makes her project stand out those is a focus on the past, present, and future.
Securing a deal with Tulsa’s Centennial Committee and Greenwood Cultural Center, Di Tonto is making her docuseries not only about the tragedy, but what the city of Tulsa is doing to remember that tragedy and rebuild. Especially with 2021 being 100 years since the massacre, it’ll be interesting to see what the city is doing to honor the tragedy.
Dream Hampton’s mini-series
The only fictionalization of the tragedy on the list, Hampton is going to hit hard on the massacre and the events following. Best known for executive producing Surviving R. Kelly, Hampton clearly knows how to make a hard-hitting series to begin with.
Produced by Cineflex Productions, the show is looking to honor the fallen and show the impact the tragedy left on the citizens of the Greenwood district. Knowing Hampton has a good track record for giving a voice to the victims, we know she’ll do the same for the victims who cannot be here to speak for themselves about the Tulsa massacre.
Russell Westbrook and Stanley Nelson’s docuseries
Yes, Trailblazer Studios isn’t the one only doing a docuseries, and Lebron isn’t the only NBA player going behind the scenes. Westbrook is teaming up with production house Blackfin to create Terror in Tulsa: The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street. Directed by Stanley Nelson, this won’t be Nelson’s first time touching on the massacre.
Nelson also directed the PBS documentary Boss: The Black Experience in Business, which did touch on the tragedy, but not as much as Nelson would’ve liked to. Now, he’ll get his chance to dive deep into the roots of the tragedy as well as the history of Black Wall Street overall.
Regardless of which project ends up being the most popular, it’s great to see so many people shining a light on a part of history often overlooked. It’s just a shame that it took 100 years to get a big spotlight on the events of the Tulsa race massacre.