Production company Blackfish will collaborate with Houston Rockets basketball player Russell Westbrook on an all-new documentary series, per Deadline. Westbrook will serve as an executive producer on the series, entitled Terror in Tulsa: The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street.
Terror in Tulsa will cover the events of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, a series of acts of racial violence committed by a mob of white rioters in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The violence was in response to an accusation that a 19 year old black man, Dick Rowland, assaulted a 17 year old white woman, Sarah Page. The mob targeted the Greenwood District of Tulsa – a wealthy community of African Americans known at the time as “Black Wall Street.” The violence ended with the entire district destroyed, the National Guard declaring martial law, and an estimated 300 deaths, many of whom were African Americans.
Despite the scale of the tragedy, the event has not been frequently covered in American media. Blackfish, production company behind the Netflix original documentary Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, has partnered with several historical organizations to create the series, the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum and the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. Stanley Nelson (Miles David: Birth of the Cool) will direct, telling Deadline “The story of Tulsa reveals a significant chapter in the American experience leading up to this moment. It is a story that needs to be treated with dignity, grounded in cultural authenticity, and portrayed with historical accuracy in order to truly understand the impact it has had on our nation.”
Westbrook previously played for the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to signing with the Houston Rockets. His time in Oklahoma taught him of the tragedy, and inspired him to sign on for this series. In a statement from The Hollywood Reporter, Westbrook said that “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.”
The series will be released in 2021, marking 100 years since the event. It is unknown what service the series will be released on. The news comes a week after Cineflex Rights revealed Dream Hampton (Surviving R. Kelly) will direct and executive produce their own series covering the massacre, entitled Black Wall Street.