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Damon Lindelof, Cord Jefferson and multi-Grammy award-winner PJ Morton will join survivors and descendants of the Tulsa Race Massacre to commemorate the massacre’s Centennial
In partnership with Magic City Books, the Black Wall Street Legacy Festival will welcome HBO’s “Watchmen” creator and Emmy Award-winning “Watchmen” writer Cord Jefferson for a shared experience, conversation, and screening on May 30. The first scene of “Watchmen” depicted the horror of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre — the murder of hundreds of Black men, women, and children, and the destruction of Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood, including 1,500 Black-owned homes and businesses, and places of worship, healing, learning, and community gathering. Unlike in the TV series, reparations have still not been paid and justice has never been served for the massacre’s three living survivors and their descendants, even 100 years later. Following the screening, Lindelof and Jefferson will engage in a live conversation with a descendant of the massacre.
“Watchmen began as literature, a piece of writing that inspired us to ask what buried parts of history could be uncovered to reveal that America hasn’t come nearly as far as it claims to,” Lindelof and Jefferson said in a joint statement. “The horrific massacre and plunder of Black Wall Street felt in many ways like a superhero’s origin story, the destruction of a utopia in its prime; and a century later, Tulsa felt like the perfect place to ask why so few of those superheroes are people of color. Greenwood is hallowed, sacred ground for everyone who worked on Watchmen and we are absolutely honored to come and pay our respects in person for the Centennial.”
The Festival will also feature a headlining performance by acclaimed musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer PJ Morton on May 29. Morton is the recipient of three Grammy awards, including Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best R&B Song, as well as Best Gospel Album, which he won for his 2020 release “Gospel According to PJ.” Morton also serves as a keyboardist for the iconic group Maroon 5. Earlier this year, Dillard University announced Morton as its first ever artist in residence.
The Black Wall Street Legacy Festival and Summit is a series of community-led events that will take place in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood and center the hundreds who lost their lives during the atrocity, as well as the survivors and descendants who continue fighting for justice a century later. The Festival is headlined by the last known massacre survivors — 106-year-old Lessie Benningfield “Mother” Randle, 106-year-old Viola “Mother” Fletcher, and 100-year-old Hughes Van Ellis — who will lead a procession and participate in an event honoring their legacy.
Programming throughout the weekend will explore urgent issues, ranging from the needs of those still living with the everyday consequences of the massacre, to the erasure of essential history, to the state and future of Black Wall Street.For additional information, visit blackwallstreetlegacyfest.com.
About the Black Wall Street Legacy Festival
Hosted by survivors and descendants of the Tulsa Race Massacre and helmed by organizations based in the affected community, the Black Wall Street Legacy Festival seeks to elevate and amplify the hard work and voices of Black Tulsans over the last 100 years by offering opportunities to reflect, learn, and inspire through community-curated experiences. National partners include Human Rights Watch, the Equal Justice Initiative, FWD.us, The Who We Are Project, and more. Please visit blackwallstreetlegacyfest.com for additional information.
Terence Crutcher Foundation; Tulsa Community Remembrance Coalition; The Black Wall Street Times; African Ancestral Society; Justice for Greenwood Foundation; Greenwood Cultural Center; Metcares Foundation; Black Wall Street Chamber; Historic Greenwood Mainstreet; Martin Luther King Society; World Culture Music Fest; Fire In Little Africa; Black Tech Street; 5 Fist; BTW Hornets United; Gathering Place; Edurec Tulsa; Women of Power; Northside United Coalition of Clergy; OSU-Tulsa; All Souls Church; Center for Public Secrets; Tulsa Juneteenth Festival; Survivor Stock; and more.