Russell Westbrook is teaming with Stanley Nelson to produce a docuseries on the Tulsa Race Massacre.
Former Oklahoma City Thunder star and MVP Russell Westbrook participated in Black Lives Matter protests earlier this week, and now he’s getting involved with a project that will educate on a horrific historic incident that occurred right near his former NBA home.
According to Variety, Westbrook is teaming up with renowned documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson and producer Blackfin to make a docuseries on the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.
“The series is described as both an exploration of America’s past, and also an ‘urgent, sobering look at the social, economic and political lines that continue to divide the country.’ It will inter-weave both past and present-day narratives in order to investigate the tragic event and its continuing impact.”
Russell Westbrook will serve as an executive producer on the project.
Titled Terror In Tulsa: The Rise And Fall of Black Wall Street, the docuseries will be directed by Nelson, while Blackfin (Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez) will produce.
Nelson is well known for his insightful documentaries on brutal moments of social injustice in American history, including his work on Freedom Riders, Wounded Knee, The Murder of Emmett Till and A Place of Our Own.
“There is no story more poignant or relevant to the racially charged events unfolding before us today, the frustration, the outrage, the outcry for justice in the wake of the George Floyd killing,” Nelson said in a statement.
The Tulsa Race Massacre, which destroyed the wealthiest black community in the United States at the time, has been called the “single worst incident of racial violence in American history.” Yet for many, this period of self-education in the wake of George Floyd’s murder marks the first time many have even heard of this terrible event that isn’t taught in most U.S. history classes.
This historic tragedy is also particularly relevant for Westbrook, who played in Oklahoma for the first 11 years of his career. From when he was drafted by the Thunder in 2008 until they traded him to the Houston Rockets in 2019, Russ was an active member in the community in OKC. He may not have played in Tulsa, but it’s only an hour-and-a-half drive from Oklahoma City and still a part of the community he aided with charitable work for over a decade.
“Spending 11 years in Oklahoma opened my eyes to the rich and sordid history of the state,” he said. “When I learned about the heartbreaking events that happened in Tulsa nearly 100 years ago, I knew this was a story I wanted to tell. It’s upsetting that the atrocities that transpired then, are still so relevant today. It’s important we uncover the buried stories of African Americans in this country. We must amplify them now more than ever if we want to create change moving forward.”