Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett are producing a limited series about the Tulsa Race Massacre
Back in 2019, the series premiere of HBO's Watchmen introduced many viewers to the Tulsa Race Massacre. Considered the single worst incident of racist violence in American history, the 1921 massacre saw white residents of Tulsa, Okla., rampage through the city's Greenwood District, then known as "Black Wall Street" because it was the wealthiest Black community in the United States. The history of the massacre is so rarely taught in American schools that it took a comic book show for many to learn about it for the first time, which means there's definitely more to teach.
To mark the massacre's centenary this year, MTV announced Monday that it is collaborating with Bassett Vance Productions — the company run by husband-and-wife duo Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett — on a limited-series drama based on the real-life history.
The as-yet-untitled series will be written by playwright Nathan Alan Davis, who previously tackled the Tulsa massacre in his play The High Ground. Other Davis plays include Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea, and The Wind and the Breeze.
The series will not limit itself to just depicting the violence that killed hundreds of Black people in Tulsa and destroyed their businesses, but will also explore the entrepreneurial spirit that created the community in the first place.
"Angela and I have always had a deep appreciation for history, especially when it comes to stories that are rooted in the Black community. We look forward to working on this series with MTV Entertainment Studios that will explore an important slice of American history as we look to reflect on events that changed the lives of countless Black families in Tulsa, Oklahoma one hundred years ago," Vance said in a statement. "We are excited to work with Nathan because his vision directly aligns with the story that Angela and I want to tell. Although the series will revisit the Black pain and tragedy that took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921, it will also importantly introduce to many the stories of the extraordinary, entrepreneurial people who built Black Wall Street and all that this community accomplished."