Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921

On May 31 and June 1, 1921, in what’s now referred to as the Tulsa race massacre, mobs of Tulsa whites laid waste to 35 square acres of Black homes and businesses in the city’s Greenwood district, also known as “Black Wall Street.” Scores and scores of people were killed, thousands were injured, and thousands more left homeless.

Several documentaries marking this grim centenary — and how the event now resonates — kick off today, May 18, with Tulsa’s Buried Truth, a half-hour show streaming free on ABC News Live at 8:30 pm ET and then streaming on-demand over Hulu. Portions of Tulsa’s Buried Truth aired originally on ABC’s Soul of a Nation.

They Still Want to Kill Us is a free short film featuring a new aria by composer/ctivist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), performed by mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges. It will premiere Tuesday, May 25, at 8 pm ET, along with a discussion with DBR and Bridges. It will then be available free on YouTube, Facebook and partner arts organizations through July 31. For more info and registration, visit Eventbrite or TheyStillWantToKillUs.com.

Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten, a 90-minute documentary, will air Memorial Day, May 31, at 9 pm ET on PBS stations (but check local listings) and stream over pbs.org and the PBS Video app.

Public TV viewers in Oklahoma can also watch Tulsa Race Massacre: 100 Years Later, a one-hour locally produced show, at 7 pm and 10 pm CT on May 31. But anyone anywhere can take advantage of an extended preview and panel discussion next Tuesday, May 25, at 7 pm CT. You can register and get more info about the one-hour event at Eventbrite.

The Legacy of Black Wall Street will be presented in two parts, one debuting Monday, June 1, and the other the following Monday. It will stream over Discovery+ and run both nights on the OWN cable channel at 9 pm ET/PT. The length of the episodes has not been announced.

Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre runs Sunday, May 30, at 8 pm ET on the History cable channel. It’s directed by two-time Emmy-winner Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders, The Murder of Emmett Till).

Consciousness of the Tulsa race massacre was raised considerably by its dramatization in the 2019 Emmy-winning limited series Watchmen. The nine-episode drama, with Emmy winners Regina King and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, can be streamed by HBO Max subscribers.

(Top image source: OETA)

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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