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Oprah Developing Miniseries on Often Forgotten Oklahoma Race Riot of 1921

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network is developing a two-part miniseries chronicling one of the ugliest and least-known chapters in U.S. history.

Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer (The Help) plays a journalist in Tulsa who investigates the 1921 Oklahoma race riots, where an estimated 300 people were believed to have been murdered amid post-WWI racial tension surrounding segregation laws and the prosperous Black community of Greenwood, also known as Black Wall Street.

According to a 2011 New York Times story on the subject, “The Tulsa race riot of 1921 was rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private… an episode so brutal that this city, in a bout of collective amnesia that extended more than a half-century, simply chose to forget it ever happened.”

The announcement came as part of OWN’s Thursday presentation of the network’s next slate of programming, which also included its first scripted movie, “My Name is Love: The Darlene Love Story.” The period biopic will star Toni Braxton.

My Name is Love has the Grammy-winning singer-actress playing Love, a singer who worked with Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen, among others.

“Whether it was the wild parties Tom Jones used to throw, how Elvis came on to her backstage at his 1968 comeback special, or her love affair with Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers, Love holds nothing back as she recalls the exciting events that make up her life,”  OWN said in a statement release. “This is the dishy and dramatic story of a woman who had it all, lost it all, but never, ever refused to give up.”

Love herself has an executive producer credit on the film, along with Winfrey and filmmaker Morgan Neville. The movie will debut in December.


What people are saying

25 thoughts on “Oprah Developing Miniseries on Often Forgotten Oklahoma Race Riot of 1921

  1. If you are going to tell a story….tell the whole……or not at all OK ?!!

  2. Roger Veale says:

    Thanks James Sanders Jr. You took the words right out of my mouth. I need not say anything else.

  3. Aaf Sec says:

    Oprah is not into offending her white peoples. The Tulsa thing will be watered down, And this Love crap looks to be some BS

  4. Rose Dixon says:

    If Not Oprah, then who…I personally don't believe that Oprah would under take this production if she wouldn't do it justice…after all this story has been told many times, I knew of it and many others as well. I can not make any assumptions until the deed is done and I am happy to see it being brought out and no one is in a better position to do so then Oprah, a multi-billionaire who have no reason to fear the normal white backlash when confronted with their evil past…

  5. Leon Johnson says:

    Let's see what told first,and not pre-judge,that story is just the tip of history of blacks suffering by America.

  6. Noah Correa says:

    300 Are you crazy ! More like 3000 .Get it right

  7. Noah Correa says:

    The dollar circulated 36 to 1000 Times in black wall street businesses before it left the community.

  8. If she gon do it, she needs to use actors and actresses from here in town, what better way than to use people who are aspiring as they may be children and grand children if this very victims…..other wise its a malarkey Idea, cause it won't change anything….

  9. Ny Kaz says:

    Thank you Ms. Winfrey for giving life to stories that share heart felt traumas for so many people that would never be know!

  10. Carl Smith says:

    Our black history needs to be taught every single day!!!! Our black history is rich in knowledge and information about the continuing struggles in and among white America. I'm 60 and I've never seen this story in my school years from the first grade to the 12th grade!!!! Our generations of kids are so far behind about out own history, that its going to take 6 to 12 years to catch up!!!! We have been robbed of our own history in America. And these crooks know it!!! Then they want to call you ignorant, we hell your the ones who caused the problems!!!!!! We need more of our history on television, but guess who controls all of that?????

  11. Wendy Guity says:

    She's the only person bringing this to the public view and black people are still disappointed with her for how inaccurate it's going to be done. A sorry bunch. Give her soms money so she can produce the film the way you want her to. Better yet, use your own monies and make your own movie.

  12. Lets build another black wallstreet

  13. you can get the story here on the first ever black history channel the google plus channel to this has over 21,000 views

  14. Troy Williams says:

    Benjamin Cole…with all due respect, that's just dumb.

  15. Troy Williams says:


  16. The whole idea is dumb..but why not use the people that live here innthe town everyday?

  17. Anonymous says:

    This was one of the incidents where the white racist government started bombing black Americans after their businesses & homes had been burned by racist whites. Blacks started fighting back & they weren't able to exterminate them. A similar incident happened in St. Louis in 1915 which was also bombed another race riot broke out again in 1917. Let's not forget the well to do black community of Rosewood & its inhabitants were burned to death. Blacks need to demand reparations. A shame how black today can't unite for a good common cause of justice. How can there be healing without repentance & reparation.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Its Her money and her project. This means she can do it however she wants to do it without your orders and without your approval. You got it? Good.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I read this story when I was 15 years old from a black history collection of books at the MLK library & the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Sadly the black history collection wasn't kept up and plans to make the library a showpiece of black history collections was scrapped because the black leadership (mayors city council & library chairman) did fight for the vision, the plan or the funding. Its criminal in this day & age if OCR, scanners & Publishing on demand.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I meant to post the black leadership of Washington D.C did NOT fight to maintain the black history collections for the MLK national library. Nor did they push to fulfill the vision to make it the premier repository for black history in the nation & world. This plan was abandoned. They let whites turn it into another ordinary library.

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