OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will explore the rise and fall of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a two-part special event OWN Spotlight: The Legacy of Black Wall Street.
The Legacy Of Black Wall Street follows the rise of the 36-block economic hub in Oklahoma’s Greenwood district up until its tragic destruction at the hands of racist mobs. Instead of focusing solely on the historic moment, The Legacy Of Black Wall will amplify the voices of those Black pioneers then who went West to build their American dream, weaving their stories with the inspiring modern-day Black pioneers now who continue the path to healing and rebuilding the rise of the Black community who presently occupy Greenwood.
The special will premiere on OWN and Discovery+ on June 1, the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, and will be followed by the second episode on June 8.
The stories of Black Wall Street are told through the lives of five individuals who were present in Tusla during the 1900s: Loula Williams, Augusta Stradford, Dr. Andrew C Jackson, Drusilla Dunjee Houston and A.J. Smitherman. Featuring stories and images of the 20th century pioneers, The Legacy of Black Wall Street will also present the stories of the subjects’ descendants and present-day activists of Greenwood: Venita Cooper, Jerica Wortham, Charity Marcus, Dr. Jabraan Pasha and Raven Majia Williams.
The documentary will also feature commentary from various experts, financial professionals and iconic historians and professors including Dr. Angela Davis, Dr. Ellora Derenoncourt as well as Representative Regina Goodwin and J. Kavin Ross, both direct descendants of the Tulsa massacre, who bring their stories to life in never-before-seen interviews.
It is produced by Trailblazer Studios and executive producers include Ashleigh Di Tonto and Jeff Lanter. Deborah Riley Draper serves as director and producer.
“We’re proud to tell this powerful story and commemorate the triumphant survivors who worked to rebuild and reclaim Black Wall Street,” said Tina Perry, President, OWN. “This is a significant moment in our history that will not be forgotten. We will continue to amplify Black excellence and resilience on OWN as we make strides on the road to healing.”
Ashleigh Di Tonto, Senior Vice President of Development for Trailblazer Studios, added, “It is an honor getting to spend time with these truly remarkable pioneers and their direct descendants. Deborah and I wanted to share the intimate and unknown origin stories of those pioneers that can only be told by those closest to them; an oral history that’s passed down generation to generation. Getting to be the stewards of their stories is a privilege that is not lost on us.”
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