Rediscovering Black Wall Street: New Film Reaches Back Into Tulsa’s Once Thriving Business District

As the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre arrives on Monday (May 31), the nation is being forced to look at a past filled with racial violence. But while many will look at the racial terrorism wrought for two days on Black residents of the city, it becomes easy to overlook the center point of Tulsa’s Greenwood District: a vibrant area of Black-owned businesses run by residents who were in the process of building wealth and a community for their families to inherit.

But after the attacks, despite the community being rebuilt by hand, redlining, systemic racism and neglect dismantled it to a point where little if anything is left of what it had been. Filmmaker Nailah Jefferson took a look at what happened through the eyes of two families of the massacre’s survivors. She spoke to about her upcoming documentary, Descended from the Promised Land: The Legacy of Black Wall Street.