The new documentary “Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten”, will premiere Monday, May 31 at 9 p.m. in Hampton Roads over WHRO-TV.
The documentary examines the deadly assault in 1921 on Black residents, destroying hundreds of Black-owned businesses and homes in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the crime and the documentary examines the riot in the context of other racial massacres and police killings, including the one-year anniversary of the killing of George Floyd (May 25, 2020).
In “Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten”, The Washington Post reporter DeNeen L. Brown interviews descendants of Greenwood residents and business owners and today’s community activists. She asks them about the city’s 2018 decision to search for mass graves from 1921, community demands for reparations and today’s efforts to revive the Black district of Greenwood through education, technology, business development and more. The documentary also explores issues of atonement, reconciliation and reparation in the past, present and future through the historical lens of white violence and Black resistance.
“The Tulsa Race Massacre is an atrocity that is often overlooked in our history,” said Lesley Norman, executive producer for WNET. “With this documentary, we hope to examine the true history of race relations in America while paying respect to the lives lost and celebrating those fighting towards a better future for Black Tulsa residents and for African Americans across the country.”
“Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten” also chronicles present-day public efforts to memorialize the Tulsa Race Massacre and other racial violence around the country, and how Black and white communities view such efforts. The film airs Monday, May 31, 9 p.m. and will be followed by a PBS NewsHour special.
Written in part by Belinda Elliott, WHRO