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As U.S. cities erupt with protests over racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Dream Hampton, executive producer of Surviving R. Kelly, will direct Black Wall Street, a limited documentary series about the Tulsa Race Massacre, a deadly act of racial violence committed 99 years ago, it was announced Monday.
“Black people from Tulsa have refused to let the Greenwood District Massacre be erased from history. I’m so inspired by their persistence to lift up the stories of what North Tulsa was before the massacre,” Hampton said in a statement on Monday about the burning of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, dubbed “Black Wall Street” for its collection of successful African American-owned businesses.
Between May 31 and June 1, 1921, over 300 African Americans were killed and thousands more were displaced as the Greenwood District was set ablaze. “As the centennial approaches they are still searching for a mass grave they believe contains the bodies of the victims of the Black Wall Street Massacre, and they are still demanding reparations. I’m inspired to learn this history from them, and to tell their ongoing story,” Hampton added.
J.C. Mills, president and commercial director of Cineflix Productions, the TV production arm of Montreal-based Cineflix Media, cited Hampton for her “hard-hitting” filmmaking approach to explain his choice to direct Black Wall Street.
“If the recent tragic stories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have shown us anything, it’s that there’s still much work to be done,” Mills said of the limited series to chronicle the Tulsa race massacre ahead of its 100th anniversary.
Hampton’s Emmy-nominated Lifetime miniseries Surviving R. Kelly broke ratings records and set in motion criminal investigations that resulted in the sex-crimes charges now surrounding the R&B singer.
Hampton executive produced Surviving R. Kelly with Brie Miranda Bryant and Tamra Simmons.
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