It’s been 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre reshaped the world as we know it.
What once was known as The Black Wall Street, the Greenwood District was singlehandedly destroyed at the hands of white rage and today (June 1), OWN is keeping its legacy alive through “The Legacy of Black Wall Street.”
The new two-part special OWN Spotlight event will track the rise of Black Wall Street in Oklahoma’s Greenwood District up until it was destroyed through the tragic 1921 Tulsa race massacre.
“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 in an official news release. “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.”
Healing that present-day activist and Tulsa native, Jerica Wortham says is imperative if we want to step into our true power.
“The legacy of the Black Wall Street is so important because we need to understand that one, our story while it was tragic and one of the gruesome tales of its time in terms of how destructive it was, is also a story that many communities in America can relate to,” shared Wortham in an exclusive interview with AfroTech.
“We need to understand and unpack what happens when these communities are destroyed and they do not have the necessary support to rebuild in the ways that honor the legacy of that community,” she continued.
History will be told through the eyes of five individuals who were in Tulsa during the 1900s, something that Wortham says is the most exciting part of the documentary series.
“I’m thankful that they’re highlighting the voices of people who are really here, this space, people who have really been in the thick of it,” continued Wortham.
“People often feel that they have to be rich, famous, or have millions of followers in order to be significant or heard,” said Wortham. “I hope that this inspires other people who feel that their voice is not able to be heard within their communities, that their work is still valued and that their voice is still necessary.”
The first installment of “OWN Spotlight: The Legacy of Black Wall Street,” premieres tonight on OWN at 9 pm ET.
Watch the full trailer for “OWN Spotlight: The Legacy of Black Wall Street” below: