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Russell Westbrook teams with Emmy-winning director on docuseries about Tulsa's Black Wall Street massacre

Jack Baer
Writer

Russell Westbrook is funding a docuseries about one of the darkest chapters in the history of his adopted state of Oklahoma.

The former Oklahoma City Thunder star will be the executive producer for “Terror In Tulsa: The Rise And Fall of Black Wall Street,” Variety reported on Tuesday. Westbrook, now a member of the Houston Rockets, confirmed the news on Twitter.

Filmmaker Stanley Nelson, who has won Emmy Awards for his work on the murder of Emmett Till, the Freedom Riders and the Black Panthers, will reportedly direct the series. Production company Blackfin, most known for “The Mind of Aaron Hernandez & Murder Tapes” will produce the series.

Tulsa race massacre has been forgotten in many history books

“Terror in Tulsa” will cover the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, in which a violent white mob destroyed a prosperous black community now known as “Black Wall Street.” The attack — which featured planes dropping bombs on buildings — killed dozens, injured hundreds more and caused millions of dollars worth of damage that the local black community never fully recovered from.

Making the story even more outrageous was the erasure of the massacre in many history books, even in Oklahoma. The portrayal of the massacre in the HBO series “Watchmen” was the first time many viewers had ever heard of the incident, including outspoken MLB player Sean Doolittle.

Clearly, Westbrook wants to make the massacre more visible in American history.

“Spending 11 years in Oklahoma opened my eyes to the rich and sordid history of the state,” Westbrook said in a Twitter post. “When I learned about the heartbreaking events that happened in Tulsa nearly 100 years ago, I knew this was a story I wanted to tell.

“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.”

Per Variety, “Terror in Tulsa” will include input from historical organizations like the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum, The John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission and the Historic Vernon AME Church.

The Tulsa race massacre isn't taught in many history curriculums. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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