Houston Rockets Point Guard Russell Westbrook takes on the Hollywood role of an executive producer in the production of the documentary series about the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.
Amid the ongoing U.S. protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the NBA star Russell Westbrook has decided to take part in a meaningful adaptation of one of the biggest pieces of American history.
Westbrook has been actively supporting and participating in the Black Lives Matter movement, as seen in his official Twitter account. He’s also been dynamically promoting various campaigns that encourage people to stay inside amid the pandemic and provide funding for those who are gravely affected by the coronavirus.
-It’s impossible for you to understand what happen today if you don’t understand the past-
— Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) June 8, 2020
NBA star takes part in a historic milestone
The 1921 Tulsa race massacre is about to mark its 100th-anniversary. To commemorate this piece of history, Russell Westbrook along with other famed names in Hollywood will produce a documentary series about this racial violence that happened in the past, which becomes even more relevant today, considering the recent events.
Variety quotes the NBA star’s statement about his executive producer role, saying:
“Spending 11 years in Oklahoma opened my eyes to the rich and sordid history of the state. 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.”
As many of the basketball enthusiasts already know, Westbrook, 31, debuted his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. He played for the Western Conference Northwest Division league for 11 years, garnering a number of titles, before getting traded to the Houston Rockets in July 2019.
— Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) June 10, 2020
The docuseries details
Variety reported on Tuesday that the title of the docuseries will be Terror In Tulsa: The Rise And Fall Of Black Wall Street. The 1921 Tulsa race massacre is also known as the “Tulsa Race Riot,” per History.
At the time, Tulsa, Oklahoma was considered as a “highly segregated city” where most of its “black residents” lived in a neighborhood called Greenwood. This was also the home of a “thriving business district,” dubbed as the “Black Wall Street.”
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They commented, "'How dare these negroes have a grand piano in their house, and I don't have a piano in my house'," Brown told CNN's Sara Sidner.
The fuse that caused the massacre was the elevator incident.（3/6） pic.twitter.com/qXktuFKRNp
— Xi Fan🧚♀️范灵犀 (@Xi_Fan) June 11, 2020
In 1921, America witnessed its “worst incidents of racial violence,” after a mob consisting of white people attacked Greenwood. They reportedly burned houses and businesses—owned by the black residents—after looting them.
The massacre was said to last over 18 hours, from May 31 to June 1 in 1921. To make it worse, the government at the time only reported a death toll of 36 African-American lives lost, even though there hundreds who actually died.
ESPN highlighted that a 2001 Oklahoma commission reported that the death count of the Tulsa massacre was actually around 100-300 people.
Westbrook will be working alongside renowned documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, and Blackfin—the production company responsible for Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez.
Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons