“Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street” will air on CNN. Executive Produced by Lebron James and Maverick Carter, this special documentary will explore what went down when a prominent, successful black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma was destroyed by a white mob in May/June 1921.
Dreamland Is A Must-See Documentary
Something very terrible happened in Tulsa Oklahoma a hundred years ago. Something that many folks have never heard about. Only recently has the term “Black Wall Street” generated such buzz. One of the worst mass killings involved the slaughter and absolute massacre of Black Americans.
Imagine, a bustling business district filled with prominent African American families and businesses. Then in an instant, it’s all wiped away.
We’re talking about an event that wiped out progress for a promising, affluent black community, and blacks as a whole in America. Furthermore, the totality of the devastation went largely unknown even in America’s newspapers and history books.
On the anniversary of this unspeakable time in American history, are we now ready to face what went down in the events that wiped out progress for Black Americans for generations to come?
Dreamland Documents Historical Events That Wiped Out Progress For Black Americans For Generations
Racial injustice is still here and as prevalent as ever in America.
The Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, changing the legal status of slaves in America.
Fast forward about 68 years and some Americans carved out a beautiful, thriving existence in a historic district of black wealth. In Tulsa’s Greenwood District, black businesses flourished. There were banks, restaurants, pharmacies, churches, you name it…and this is 1921!
So What Actually Happened In Tulsa, Oklahoma A Hundred Years Ago?
On May 30, 1921, two teen-ages lives collided and set up a series of events that breaks down like this –
Sarah Page, a 17-year old white girl was an elevator operator at the Drexel Building. Dick Rowland was a 19-year-old black shoe-shine man. Rowland entered the elevator, something happened and Sarah began to scream and they both ran out of the elevator. A day later, Rowland was arrested and taken to the courthouse with an assault charge.
Even though no one really knows what went down in the elevator that day, all hell broke loose after that event. A mob of hundreds of armed white men ascended on the courthouse. A smaller group of black men also showed up. They were outnumbered.
And Then This…
35 blocks were burned to the ground. More than 1200 homes were destroyed. Black Americans were murdered in mass, businesses were destroyed, looted, and set ablaze. Black Wall Street burned for 2 days.
As for the history of this event, one newspaper’s headline reported that 2 white men died in a riot. No one knows exactly how many blacks lost their lives that day. Some put the figure at just 30, others 100. More accurately, it is believed that the number is closer to 300 black men, women, and children people.
Mysteriously, records of these events started to disappear. Many of the photos widely available today, are due to the fact that white supremacist groups made postcards out of them for souvenirs. To this day, most of their bodies’ whereabouts are unknown.
Thank you, Lebron James and Maverick Carter, of the Springhill Entertainment Group, for getting this very necessary documentary of the 100-year-old race massacre out to the masses. Though it’s just one of the permanent stains on the American History of Black Americans, it’s a must-see event!
“DREAMLAND” is executive produced by NBA star LeBron James, businessman Maverick Carter, actor Jamal Henderson, and Philip Byron for The SpringHill Company, and Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton for CNN Films, as well as directed and produced by Salima Koroma.
Dreamland: The Burning Of Black Wall Street debuts on CNN, May 31st. Later, it will be carried by HBO Max.