Russell Westbrook and Stanley Nelson team for Tulsa Race Massacre Docuseries

Russell Westbrook has played a lead role in being an activist here in the last week, and he’s continuing that by producing a docuseries on “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history.”

Westbrook will team with the well-known documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson and Blackfin, the person that produced “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez.” The three will collaborate on a series over the Tulsa race massacre of 1921 which will be titled “Terror in Tulsa: The Rise And Fall of Black Wall Street.”

The series is perfect for the time we’re living in right now, which in some ways, seems similar to where we were as a country nearly a century ago. This will highlight America’s dark past while taking a harsh look into the current economic and political issues that we’re dealing with today. It will intertwine the past and the present to dissect the massacre, and the impact it still has on our society.

“I am so very honored to partner with Russell Westbrook and Backfin to direct ‘Terror In Tulsa.’ There is no story more poignant or relevant to the racially charged events unfolding before us today, the frustration, the outrage, the outcry for justice in the wake of the George Floyd killing,” said Nelson in a statement. “The story of Tulsa reveals a significant chapter in the American experience leading up to this moment It is a story that needs to be treated with dignity, grounded in cultural authenticity, and portrayed with historical accuracy to fully understand the impact it has had on our nation. From the cover-ups of the massacre in 1921 to the uncovering of the mass graves left in its wake, the story of Tulsa is the harsh example of not only the history of violence against Black people in America, but also the great American sin of burying it out of sight, and pretending that it never happened. for many, it is hard to believe such an atrocity occurred. for others, these atrocities are simply a part of the American journey.”

The Tulsa Historical Society & Museum, The John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, and the Historic Vernon AME Church will provide insight and input for the series.

Spending 11 years in Oklahoma opened my eyes to the rich and sordid history of the state,” said Westbrook referring to his time spent in the state of Oklahoma as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. “When I learned about the heartbreaking events that happened in Tulsa nearly 100 years ago, I knew this was a story that I wanted to tell. It’s upsetting that the atrocities that transpired then, are still so relevant today. We must uncover the buried stories of African Americans in the country. We must amplify them now more than ever if we want to create change moving forward.”

Addam M. Francisco

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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