In the 1920s, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, also known as Black Wall Street, was one of the most prosperous African American communities in the United States. Filled with booming businesses and thriving entrepreneurs, the district served as a mecca of Black ingenuity and promise, until the evening of May 31, 1921, which marked the start of the devastating Tulsa Race Massacre. More than thirty-five city blocks were burned to the ground and hundreds of Black city dwellers were killed. The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 is one of the most tragic moments in our nation’s history, yet this harrowing event is largely unknown to many Americans.Executive produced by NBA super star and philanthropist Russell Westbrook, and directed by Peabody and Emmy-Award® winning director Stanley Nelson(“Freedom Riders”) and Peabody and duPont-Award winner Marco Williams(“Two Towns of Jasper”), “Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre” calls attention to the previously ignored but necessary repair of a town once devastated. The two-hour documentary will air on Sunday, May 30 at 8PM ET/PT on The HISTORY® Channel.The HISTORY® Channel is also partnering with WNYC Studios to launch a new six-part podcast series Blindspot: Tulsa Burning on May 28 as complementary audio content. Additionally, through its “Save Our History” philanthropic initiative, the network is helping to preserve the Historic Vernon A.M.E. Church, the only standing Black-owned structure from the Historic Greenwood Avenue and Black Wall Street era.
Stanley Nelson is today’s leading documentarian of the African American experience. His films combine compelling narratives with rich historical detail to shine new light on the under-explored American past. Awards received over the course of his career include a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, five Primetime Emmy Awards, and lifetime achievement awards from the Emmys and IDA. In 2013, Nelson received the National Medal in the Humanities from President Obama. In 2019, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool was nominated by the GRAMMYs for Best Music Film. Nelson’s latest documentary, Crack: Cocaine, Conspiracy, & Corruption debuted on Netflix in 2021.