January 17, 2018

John Legend Producing Series About Tulsa Black Wall St. Massacre

Photo Credit: Oklahoma Historical Society

Tulsa, Oklahoma was a bustling and vibrant city for Black people, but few know of how an attack on their community drove many out of town. That’s about to change.

Several months ago in one of my articles, I reported that singer John Legend was considering producing a television series about the little known 1921 Black Wall Street Massacre in Greenwood, Oklahoma; a suburb of Tulsa.

I hadn’t heard anything more about it since until I was watching The NAACP Image Awards on TV1, Saturday, February 11th. News anchor Roland Martin was interviewing singer John Legend and actress Tika Sumpter when the subject was bought up.

The television series is being developed by Legend’s production company, “Get Lifted Film Company” along with the assistance of Tika Sumpter who was Executive Producer of the movie “Southside With You.” That movie was the love story of Barack and Michelle Obama.

The Black Wall Street Massacre/Race Riot is not well known and has been pretty much successfully squashed from American History books for the past 95 years.

Photo Credit: Oklahoma Historical Society

For those of you who do not know anything about The Black Wall Street Massacre, it is a factual story about Greenwood, Oklahoma: a suburb of Tulsa. In Greenwood, there was an extremely wealthy all Black community known as “Black Wall Street” or “Little Africa.” The Blacks in that community built their own wealth and stood economically independent. This community was home to prominent Black leaders, doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs. Many residents of Black Wall Street enjoyed luxuries that Whites in neighboring towns didn’t such as indoor plumbing and a school system that Black children excelled in.

Photo Credit: Oklahoma Historical Society

The massacre was nothing but pure envy, jealousy and an attempt to put Progressive high achieving Black people in their place. Supposedly, a young White woman accused a young Black male of sexually assaulting her, which gave the Ku Klux Klan and their sympathizers just cause in their minds to invade the unsuspecting Black township. They had been jealous of Black Wall Street for years. Survivors of the massacre reported White police officers/National Guard joined the KKK. Reports were documented that the attack came from both ground and air. Sticks of dynamite and flaming balls of turpentine were dropped from airplanes to the residents of Greenwood.

The television series by John Legend and Tika Sumpter is in early production
and set to air in 2018 on WGN.

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