THE HISTORY® CHANNEL AND WNYC STUDIOS ANNOUNCE “BLINDSPOT: TULSA BURNING”
THE HISTORY® CHANNEL AND WNYC STUDIOS ANNOUNCE
“BLINDSPOT: TULSA BURNING”
Season Two of “Blindspot” Podcast Examines The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921
and History of Racial Violence in America
Six Episode Season Launches Friday, May 28
Listen to the Trailer HERE
New York – May 24, 2021 – A+E Networks® and WNYC Studios today announced season two of the highly-acclaimed podcast “Blindspot” with the launch of “Blindspot: Tulsa Burning.” The new six-episode season explores the racial terror that destroyed the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma one hundred years ago this Memorial Day. Through conversations with descendants, historians and local activists, the series considers how the traumatic two-day attack continues to take a toll. The podcast series is hosted by WNYC Studios’ reporter and producer KalaLea and is available Friday, May 28 wherever podcasts are available.
Listen to the trailer: https://www.history.com/blindspot
“It’s remarkable to think that some people are so resilient as to live through a tragic event like the Tulsa Race Massacre, and come out of it more inspired and more determined to live their truth,” says KalaLea. “Yet that has been happening in North Tulsa for one hundred years. I am honored to learn about the people who made Greenwood a national treasure before it was destroyed, and hope that listeners will come away with more compassion and respect for what Black and Native people in the U.S. contend with in every area of life – at work, in public spaces, during wars, and in their own communities. The story of Greenwood (a.k.a. Black Wall Street) is the story of the American dream, and how the disruption of that dream impacts us all.”
“It’s our privilege and responsibility to tell these stories – as they happened, unvarnished – out of respect for those who suffered and to ensure the lessons of the past help inform a better future,” said Mark Garner, EVP Global Content Sales and Business Development. “This portion of Tulsa’s history is extraordinary but not anomalous in America. Through KalaLea’s authentic and expert POV, ‘Blindspot: Tulsa Burning’ provides the context and analysis to continue thoughtful and important conversations that illuminate a common path forward.”
Produced by The HISTORY® Channel and WNYC, in collaboration with KOSU public radio in Oklahoma, “Blindspot: Tulsa Burning” recalls the events of May 31 and June 1, 1921 when the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma was destroyed by racially motivated violence. Once home to booming Black-owned businesses, Greenwood was one of the most prosperous African American enclaves in the U.S. – coined by Booker T. Washington as “Black Wall Street.” More than thirty-five city blocks of the neighborhood were burned and hundreds of Black residents were killed. It remains one of the worst episodes of racial terror in 20th Century American history. Despite the scale and impact of the attack, the massacre has long been absent from regional and national curriculum and obscured from broad public knowledge. “Blindspot: Tulsa Burning” explores the history of the events, the impact on the community and the country, and how it continues to affect race relations.
Over the course of the six-part audio series, listeners will hear from experts, historians, authors and survivors, including:
- Chief Egunwale Amusan: Local activist and descendant of a survivor. Owner of “The REAL Black Wall Street” tours.
- Tiffany Crutcher: Local activist, descendent of a survivor, and twin sister of a man slain by a Tulsan police officer in 2016.
- Raven Majia Williams: Great-granddaughter of A.J. Smitherman, the publisher of The Tulsa Star, one of the first Black daily newspapers in the country
- Quraysh Ali Lansana: Writer, poet and adjunct professor of Africana Studies and Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University, Tulsa
- Resmaa Menakem: Psychotherapist and author of “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies”
- Eli Grayson: Citizen of the Creek nation, former President of the California Muscogee Creek Association
- Victor Luckerson: Journalist and author of the “Run it Back” newsletter
- Adriane Lentz-Smith: Associate professor and associate chair of Duke University’s department of History
- Minkah Makalani: Associate professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
“Blindspot: Tulsa Burning” marks the second season of the Blindspot series, a collaboration and co-production between WNYC Studios and The HISTORY Channel. The first season, “Blindspot: The Road to 9/11” launched in 2020 and brought to light the shadow struggle that preceded the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
“Blindspot: Tulsa Burning” will be complemented by The HISTORY Channel’s on-air documentary, “Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre” premiering Sunday, May 30th at 8/7c. The two-hour special, executive produced by NBA superstar Russell Westbrook and directed by Emmy-Award winner Stanley Nelson and Peabody-Award winner Marco Williams, will take an in-depth, sobering look at the events of a century ago and how the impact is still being felt today. Incorporating rare archival footage and imagery from the time, the documentary will also weave in present-day stories and interviews from historians from organizations including the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum, the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, and the Historic Vernon A.M.E. Church, among others.
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Deborah McBride, A+E Networks, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Houlihan Roussel, WNYC, JHoulihan@nypublicradio.org