LeBron James’ SpringHill Company is partnering with CNN Films to produce a documentary entitled “Dreamland: The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street.” The film will explore the destruction of the prominent Black Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921.
Nicknamed Black Wall Street for its immense wealth and prosperity, Greenwood was home to thousands of affluent Black Americans. It also housed many successful Black businesses including banks. grocery stores, hotels, a movie theater, barbershop and more.
The race massacre – which left Greenwood reduced to nothing more than cinderblock and hundreds of its Black residents dead – started after a 17-year-old white woman accused a 19-year-old Black man of inappropriately touching her.
It is one of the worst known instances of domestic terrorism and racist violence in America’s history, but much of it was covered up and lots if the historical record intentionally deleted.
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SpringHill and CNN’s documentary seeks to shed more light on what happened leading up to and during the massacre.
Jamal Henderson is SpringHill’s chief content officer. He saif=d they were looking forward to producing the film.
“At SpringHill, we embody empowerment and focus on shining a light on stories that are the fabric of American history,” Henderson told Variety. “We cannot move forward until we acknowledge our past and this is about honoring a prosperous, booming Black community, one of many, that was brought to an end because of hate. With the lack of historic journalism around ‘Black Wall Street’ and the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, we are honored to be partnered with CNN, which has a long-standing record of credible and groundbreaking journalism. We are bringing this documentary together with a diverse crew, including local Tulsans, and making it our mission to uplift voices and people while creating impactful content.”
Slated to be completed in 2021, the film will feature “a mix of archival media, contemporary interviews and narrated elements such as letters and diary entries. It will also include footage of the century-long search for physical evidence of the mass murder that some had tried to erase from the historic record,” Variety reported.
There have been repeated attempts throughout history to get reparations for the victims and their descendants, none have been successful.
However, the Tulsa massacre has been receiving a lot more attention from Hollywood lately. It was been included in two recent popular HBO television series “Watchmen” and “Lovecraft Country.”
CNN, which is known for several thought-provoking documentaries, said they were happy to be a part of such an important film.
“CNN Films could not be more proud to partner with The SpringHill Company for this long-overdue recognition of the tragedy of what happened in Greenwood, and to contribute to the reconciliation that comes with the acknowledgement of history,” Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, told Variety.