“It’s upsetting that the atrocities that transpired then, are still so relevant today,” said Westbrook.
June 14, 2020
NBA star Russell Westbrook is adding Executive Producer to his repertoire. According to Variety, the Houston Rockets point guard is teaming up with award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson Jr. for the creation of a docuseries about the Tulsa race massacre that happened in 1921.
Russell Westbrook is teaming with celebrated documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson for a docuseries on the Tulsa race massacre of 1921 https://t.co/CRFNg1QAx9— Variety (@Variety) June 9, 2020
The project—titled Terror In Tulsa: The Rise And Fall of Black Wall Street—will delve into the history of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma; capturing how the area grew to become a thriving district for Black entrepreneurship and was later destroyed by horrific acts of racial violence. The series will also explore how tragic events like the race massacre have shaped today’s racial, social, economic and political climates.
Westbrook says he was compelled to work on the project after taking a deeper look into Black Wall Street’s history while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder. “Spending 11 years in Oklahoma opened my eyes to the rich and sordid history of the state,” he said in a statement. “When I learned about the heartbreaking events that happened in Tulsa nearly 100 years ago, I knew this was a story I wanted to tell. It’s upsetting that the atrocities that transpired then, are still so relevant today. It’s important we uncover the buried stories of African Americans in this country. We must amplify them now more than ever if we want to create change moving forward.” Nelson added that the story “reveals a significant chapter in the American experience leading up to this moment.”
Several projects are being led to preserve the history of Black Wall Street. According to Tulsa World, the National Park Service issued a $500,000 grant for the renovation of buildings in the Greenwood District. “We’re committed to preserving the history our ancestors left us,” Greenwood Chamber President Freeman Culver said in a statement.