Will you be watching?
The single worst incident of racial violence in American history will finally be adapted into an original limited series devoted to telling the story of Greenwood district in Tulsa which, at that time, was the wealthiest Black community in the United States known as “Black Wall Street.”
For the past century, America has attempted to bury the devastating Tulsa Race Massacre that left hundreds of Black people dead and entire homes and businesses destroyed.
“Angela and I have always had a deep appreciation for history, especially when it comes to stories that are rooted in the Black community, said Courtney B. Vance, Principal at Bassett Vance Productions that partnered with MTV on the series.
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.”
Award-winning playwright Nathan Alan Davis will write the scripted series that marks the first project from Angela Bassett and her husband Courtney B. Vance’s Bassett Vance Productions as part of their deal with MTV Entertainment Studios.
“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,” said Vance.
Having served as a writer for projects like BET’s “American Soul” and Facebook Watch’s “Sorry For Your Loss,” this marks Davis’s first run as a show creator after receiving multiple awards for his produced plays, including ‘Nat Turner in Jerusalem,’ ‘Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea’ and ‘The Wind and the Breeze.’
“I am honored to be partnering with Courtney, Angela, MTV Entertainment Studios and their extraordinary teams in this vital endeavor. Exploring the history of Tulsa’s Greenwood District as a limited dramatic series affords us a precious opportunity and a deep responsibility.
I greatly look forward to crafting a story that will not only shed light on the people of Black Wall Street, but give fresh life to the spirit, ideas, hopes, fears, and dreams that motivated them.”
He previously provided a take on the Tulsa Massacre for his play “The High Ground” slated to premiere at Arena Stage in Washington D.C.
“As storytellers – together with Courtney, Angela and Nathan – we have the privilege of shining a light on a devastating event in our history that is important, necessary and still resonates 100 years later,” said Nina L. Diaz, President of Content and Chief Creative Officer at MTV Entertainment Group.
“This partnership underscores our shared commitment to raise diverse voices and create content our global audience is yearning for that is both timely and telling.”
Meghan Hooper White, EVP and Head of Original Movies and Limited Series and VP, Original Movies and Limited Series, Amal Baggar will oversee the project for MTV Entertainment Studios. Bassett and Vance will executive produce the series, along with Dwayne Johnson-Cochran and Lynnette Ramirez for Bassett Vance Productions.