Tulsa’s Greenwood District is getting well-deserved redevelopment in OWN’s six-part docuseries Rebuilding Black Wall Street, hosted by Morris Chestnut.
The docuseries follows the history of Greenwood, better known by the nation as Black Wall Street, which suffered major loss of life and property during the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. The massacre and Greenwood’s history has received renewed interest over the past few years in part because of Tulsa’s central focus in HBO’s Watchmen series. Viola Fletcher, one of the last remaining survivors of the massacre, also recently wrote her memoir, Don’t Let Them Bury My Story: The Oldest Living Survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre in Her Own Words, with the help of her grandson Ike Howard.
The docuseries will focus on several of the new projects and revitalization efforts happening within the district to restore it to its former glory. Descendants of the massacre, Black farming and technology experts, and even an NBA star lend their talents to growing the area.
According to the official description of the series:
Tulsa’s Greenwood District, better known as Black Wall Street where Black business leaders, homeowners and civic leaders thrived. On May 31, 1921, and into the next day, a mob destroyed that district in what has been called the single most horrific incident of racial terrorism since slavery. An estimated 300 people were killed, more than 1,200 homes destroyed, and at least 60 businesses and community buildings burned to the ground.
Today, the Greenwood District is a community rebuilding, a journey of strength and joy examined in this unique uplifting renovation docuseries. Over the course of six episodes, Chestnut and build teams, led by designers Jon Pierre and Mary Tjon-Joe-Pin (Two Steps Home), guide viewers through Greenwood’s rich history and the personal journeys of those featured – many of whom are the descendants of original Black Wall Street residents. As new businesses and projects progress, viewers will experience the physical and emotional challenges that come with large-scale construction and celebrate the promise of Greenwood’s future.
- The Birthing Center: Tulsa Race Massacre descendant Montika Collins hopes to create North Tulsa’s only natural birthing center and return the tradition of midwifery to the Greenwood District. Designers Jon Pierre and Mary dive in to help.
- The Family House: Tulsa massacre descendant Rachel Walker preserves the home passed down to her through generations with help from the nonprofit 1256 Movement. The history of home ownership in Tulsa is explored as the design team renovates her kitchen.
- The Transition Home: Tulsa’s complex history lays the groundwork for massacre descendant D’Marria Monday to build a haven for recently incarcerated women reintegrating back into society, with the design team adding special touches to the home.
- The Farm: As part of an ongoing effort to change the food desert of North Tulsa, Rodney and Sheila Clark’s family farm gets a major upgrade from guest expert Ron Finley, while Jon Pierre and Mary put their farming skills to work.
- The Mansion: Special guest Ananda Lewis helps Jon Pierre and Mary upgrade the historic Skyline Mansion, which serves as a studio for local rap group Fire in Little Africa. Educators take steps to restore Black history studies in Tulsa.
- The Restaurant: Former NBA star Kevin Johnson opens Fixins Soul Kitchen in Tulsa, and three survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre attend, along with the design team. Tech innovator Lael Alexander offers his inventions to community leaders.
The series hails from Warner Bros. Discovery, GroupM Motion Entertainment and Domino’s, a participant in GroupM’s Diverse Voices Accelerator. The accelerator supports directors, producers, writers and creators from traditionally underrepresented groups. Sunwise Media produces the series with executive producers Ri-Karlo Handy and massacre descendant Karra Duncan. Chestnut also executive produces via his company MC8 Productions with Greenwood Creative Studios.
Watch the full trailer below.